Republic of Ireland and Spurs prospect Troy Parrott has credited the rise of Brighton striker Aaron Connolly with inspiring him.
Troy Parrott (17), is in line to make his senior debut for the Republic of Ireland against New Zealand. Troy Parrott and Aaron Connolly know each other from the Ireland U21s. Parrott will have watched Connolly’s rise to prominence with jealousy and anticipation.
“It was kind of motivation for me because a month before, me and Aaron played together against Armenia and Sweden (for the U21s),” he said.
“I was at the game against Spurs when he played and did well (for Brighton), and then it was great to see him go on and play in the full internationals. It just made me think: I want to do the same. It’s good to be on the other side of the fence now.”
Parrott will become the third youngest debutant in Irish football history when he plays against New Zealand.
“Coming in here is a huge achievement for me, and the training has been good as well. Luckily enough, the opportunity has come about this time and hopefully I’m able to take it with both hands. I just can’t wait to get out there.”
The last time Ireland were in a European Championship, Parrott was helping League of Ireland side Belvedere FC to win the Kennedy Cup.
“Yeah, it’s crazy what can happen in a couple of years,” he said.
“The Kennedy Cup was great. A great week, a great bunch of lads, great coaches – just all ‘round enjoyable. When we were down there, we went to watch the Ireland-France game so it just goes to show a lot can happen in a short period of time.”
As for how he thinks he can progress his career, Parrott gave the only answer you would expect from a striker – score goals.
“For me, striker is where I want to play,” he said.
“For me it’s about scoring goals. That’s all I want to do, to be honest. If someone can score I think it helps to go up the levels quicker.
“When I went to the U21s I scored on my debut. And I’m not planning on stopping now.”