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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 3 April, 2020

Ciaran Clark's injury has given an Irish teenager a chance to impress at Newcastle

Oisin McEntee has been drafted into the first-team picture at the Premier League club this week.

Ireland U19 international Oisin McEntee.
Ireland U19 international Oisin McEntee.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

WITH CIARAN CLARK set for a lengthy lay-off, one Irish defender’s setback has created an opportunity for another.

An ankle injury has ruled Clark out for the remainder of Newcastle United’s season, as well as Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia next month.

Newcastle subsequently summoned Cavan native Oisin McEntee to the Premier League club’s first-team training base earlier this week.

“The assistant manager Liam Bramley just told me to be up there for 10.30am,” McEntee told The Chronicle. “I just jogged up and I’ve been training with them for a few days.

“It is surreal and crazy thinking you are on the same pitch as them. You are doing your best to impress them.”

McEntee, who turned 19 last month, has been featuring regularly for Newcastle at U23 level. The centre-back was one of the standout performers for the Ireland U19 side that reached the semi-finals of last summer’s European Championships.

He’s now hoping to follow in the footsteps of the likes of the Longstaff brothers, Sean and Matty, and Tom Allan by graduating to a senior debut from his club’s U23 set-up.

“Matty and Sean Longstaff have been brilliant for me,” McEntee said: “They always help me out and it’s really good. They are both doing very well for themselves so you just try to do what they do.

britain-soccer-premier-league Ciaran Clark is helped off the pitch after being injured against Arsenal. Source: Frank Augstein

“Seeing Tom Allan get his chance lets you know that there are chances for young players. You just try to get up there and get a chance yourself.

“It’s been a great week for me personally. I’m up there [the training centre for the first team] and it’s crazy in terms of intensity.

“To get up there and train, you just look at them and try to do what they do. They’re making it in the game and I want to emulate them.”

Newcastle resume their Premier League campaign at home to Burnley tomorrow afternoon, but McEntee is expected to play for the U23s this evening against Middlesbrough.

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Paul Dollery

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