Nine things we know about Celtic’s young Irish starlet Eoghan O’Connell

Nine things we know about Celtic’s young Irish starlet Eoghan O’Connell

NEW Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers believes Eoghan O’Connell has a bright future at the club after impressing on his European debut.

Celtic drew 1-1 in the opening leg of their Champions League third round qualifying tie against Astana in Kazakhstan, with O’Connell getting his first taste of competitive European football at senior level.

"I thought he was outstanding,” said Rodgers of the 20-year-old. “For a young player, he has been on the fringes for a few years, coming into that environment, under pressure, he had very few mistakes in the game.

"You would expect him to make some as a young player but he coped in a very difficult situation."

So, with a future Ireland and Celtic star in the making, what do we know about Eoghan O’Connell at this stage?

  • He is from Cork and is the cousin of legendary Munster and Ireland lock Paul O’Connell

  • As a 6ft 1in centre-half, he is some five inches shorter and a hell of a lot lighter than his enormous, 17-stone relative

  • He is a huge Cork City fan and has played for the club (five times on loan from Celtic last season), as has his brother and father

  • His older brother Andy, 23, currently plays for Cobh Ramblers in Cork

  • Former Celtic manager Ronny Deila gave him his senior debut for Celtic towards the end of the 2013-14 season in a 1-1 draw with Ross County

  • Despite being just 20 years of age, he has already briefly captained Celtic, having been handed the armband during a pre-season friendly against Sparta Prague

  • He was named Academy Player of the Year at the annual Celtic Player of the Year awards for 2014-15

  • He has represented the Republic of Ireland at Under-19 and Under-21 level

  • He is a big fan of other sports, particularly GAA and golf, regularly tweeting about both