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'He played like it was a training session': Kildare 19-year-old praised after Premier League debut

Ireland goalkeeper Mark Travers kept a debut clean sheet against Tottenham on Saturday.

The 19-year-old made a number of excellent saves.
The 19-year-old made a number of excellent saves.
Image: Mark Kerton

KILDARE GOALKEEPER Mark Travers has received a plethora of praise and recognition following an impressive Premier League debut against Tottenham on Saturday afternoon.

The 19-year-old kept a clean sheet as Bournemouth secured a memorable 1-0 victory against the Champions League semi-finalists, with Travers named man-of-the-match for his display.

The Ireland international made a number of incredible saves, twice denying Lucas Moura the opportunity to give Spurs a first-half lead, before Nathan Ake snatched all three points with a stoppage time winner.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was quick to praise the Maynooth native, highlighting Travers’ debut performance speaking after his side’s win at Dean Court on Saturday.

“It was a great display from him,” Howe said speaking at his post-game press conference.

“He’s someone we really do believe in. He’s got great temperament and attitude to the game. He played like it was a training session and that’s a huge compliment.”

Travers said the experience of this past weekend would not be quickly forgotten. “It was an unbelievable day for me,” the goalkeeper told Sky Sports.

Mark Travers Travers was amongst the substitutes during Ireland's recent wins against Gibraltar and Georgia. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“It’s something I’ve worked toward the last number of years. To get the opportunity today was unbelievable, especially against a top side in Tottenham and then to get the three points as well.”

Howe was keen to pay tribute to Travers’ overall game management.

The Cherries boss noted not just Travers’ shot-stopping ability when called upon to keep the scores level against Mauricio Pochettino’s men, but also his young player’s distribution too.

“He showed real confidence with his feet. He kicked the ball well, made some saves and impressed with his all-round game management.”

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Howe said he now had a decision to make regarding Bournemouth’s future number one looking ahead to next season, which will be the club’s fifth consecutive campaign in the English top-flight.

“It’s a nice problem to have and a decision I’ll have to make in the summer, in terms of what to do with all the goalkeepers we have. Mark hasn’t been out on loan this season,” Howe said.

AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Vitality Stadium The goalkeeper was named man-of-the-match during his debut against Spurs. Source: Mark Kerton

“Aaron Ramsdale, who we rate highly as well, has been out on loan and done really well. It’s great to have two young, promising goalkeepers in our ranks.

“Of course we’ve got the two experienced goalkeepers [Artur Boruc and Asmir Begovic] at a top level as well.

“It’s slightly unusual that Mark hasn’t been out on loan to experience League One or League Two.

“That was the risk we took, but going on his training and the way he has conducted himself all season, as well as the club that we are — trying to give young players opportunities to develop – we decided to do what we did.”

Travers, who joined Bournemouth from Cherry Orchard in 2016, was named in Mick McCarthy’s first squad since taking over as Ireland boss and was an unused substitute during recent Euro 2020 qualifying victories against Gibraltar and Georgia.

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