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Teenage Irish trio nominated for Premier League 2 Player of the Season award

Adam Idah, Aaron Connolly and Will Smallbone have made the shortlist.

Brighton's Aaron Connolly (file pic).
Brighton's Aaron Connolly (file pic).
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

Updated at 18.28

IRISH UNDERAGE INTERNATIONALS Adam Idah, Aaron Connolly and Will Smallbone have made the nine-player shortlist for the Premier League 2 Player of the Season award.

Chosen by the Premier League’s Football Development panel, the trio have been selected for their fine seasons at underage level with Norwich, Brighton and Southampton respectively.

19-year-old Galway-born forward Connolly hit 11 goals for Brighton in a side that finished third in PL2 Division 1, in addition to scoring five in the EFL Trophy.

Connolly subsequently made a loan move to Luton Town, though injury problems limited his progress and he made just two substitute appearances for this season’s League One champions.

Meanwhile, 18-year-old striker Idah scored 12 goals for Norwich in PL2 Division 2.

The youngster has also impressed for Ireland at underage level, hitting a brace against Luxembourg as Stephen Kenny’s U21 side got their Euro 2021 campaign off to a winning start last March.

In addition, 19-year-old Southampton midfielder Smallbone, who has represented Ireland at U19 level, featured 20 times as the Saints were promoted from Division 2.

Liverpool’s Rafael Camacho, Everton’s Morgan Feeney, Reading’s Daniel Loader, Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah, Everton’s Bassala Sambou, and Newcastle’s Elias Sorensen complete the list of nominees.

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Paul Fennessy

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