Congrats and Good Luck to Evan Finnegan

21 Jun 2011

Evan Finnegan, a 15 year old, from The Stiles Road in Clontarf has recently signed a 2 year contract with Doncaster Rovers FC who play in the English Championship.

His father Terry was interviewed last week in the Northside People. The text of the article is here:

"Northside teenager Evan Finnegan will be the envy of many youngsters his age this summer when he embarks on a career in professional football cross channel. Last month, Evan (15), from Stiles Road, Clontarf, signed a two-year contract with Npower Championship side Doncaster Rovers.

The talented left full caught the eye of the Yorkshire outfit while starring in the Dublin and District Schoolboys’ League (DDSL) for Home Farm. In the last couple of years, Evan had been on trial with Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth, as well as Doncaster, but wasn’t offered a contract until now. Evan’s father, Terry, told Northside People that his son is thrilled to be given this opportunity. “We went over to England three weeks ago and signed the contract,” he said.

“He will be attending college over there two days a week (Monday and Thursday). The education aspect is important, as he will have something to fall back on. “He (Evan) got a bit nervous last week when he realised that he would be leaving his family and friends. “We were told six weeks ago that he was going to be offered a contract but we didn’t want to take anything for granted.” Terry, who also played for Home Farm in his day, as well as Trafford United, is all too aware of the precarious nature of trying to forge a football career in the choppy waters of English football.

“We realise that very few make it – probably less than one per cent - but this is an opportunity of a lifetime, “ he stated.

“Some people might be against it (allowing their child to leave school to try a career in football) but it is a chance he has to take.

“At a small club (like Doncaster) he has a better chance of making it and they really look after them over there.

“The last thing we wanted was in a few years time, Evan saying that we prevented him from trying to make it as a professional footballer.

Evan, who also spent a season with another hugely successful Dublin nursery club, Cherry Orchard, will travel to Doncaster on June 27 to begin his new career, with his father planning to get over to see him as much as possible.

As part of the youth team, he will be playing in the Football League Youth Alliance League North East Conference.

And in July the Youth Team, along with the Under 16s, will be travelling to Sweden to take part in the Gothia Cup so exciting times lie ahead at the Keepmoat Stadium (Doncaster’s home ground) for the Northside youngster, who recently finished transition year at St Fintan’s, Sutton.

“He’ll be going right through until the end of May (2012) but will be able to come home for a break from December 19 to January 3,” explained Terry.

Evan, who like his father, is a Bohs’ supporter, would appear to come from good football stock as his grandfather, Val Finnegan, played for Shelbourne in the 1960s.

As well as playing for Home Farm’s Under 15s last season he was also on the FAI’s Emerging Talent Programme.

Ironically, at Doncaster, Evan will be linking up with a player he used to watch from the stands at Dalymount Park, Paul Keegan, who joined the English club from Bohs in January.

So look out for an Irish connection building up at the Keepmoat Stadium and keep a close eye on the progress of Evan Finnegan!"

For those of you who are weak on UK geography, Doncaster is about 35 miles south of Leeds and about 60 miles to the east of Manchester.

I'm sure you'll join us in wishing Evan every success on his travels.


(You can also view further coverage on the Doncaster Rovers website)