Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Why Northern Ireland U17 winger Eoin Teggart was hailed as 'gold dust' by Portsmouth coach after senior debut

Eoin Teggart in action for Northern Ireland U17s earlier this year.
Eoin Teggart in action for Northern Ireland U17s earlier this year.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Northern Ireland U17s have some 'gold dust' on their hands according to Portsmouth assistant manager Joe Gallen.

Having signed for Pompey from Cliftonville last year, Eoin Teggart made his senior bow in his side's 3-1 Trophy victory over Norwich under-21s on Saturday.

It couldn't really have gone much better as Teggart was involved in the build-up to two of his side's three goals. First his cross was nodded back into the middle by Leon Maloney for Ellis Harrison to convert. The second was similar although this time Teggart had to show his blistering pace to race from his own half and get clear of his man before curling in another ball to the back post, where Harrison this time knocked it down for Josh Flint to finish.

Watch the 17-year-old's contribution to the win here:

Those pinpoint deliveries are the reason the coaching staff are keen to accelerate Teggart's development, signalling a potentially bright future at Fratton Park.

He is battling with the Republic of Ireland's former Derry City winger Ronan Curtis for that left-sided spot and can offer a different threat to the right-footer.

"Eoin has a lot of pace and it was great to see," assistant manager Joe Gallen, a former Republic of Ireland U21 international, told

"Left-footed wide players who put crosses in are not easy to find. There are very few of them around and we’ve always been trying to sign players like that but they don’t really exist believe it or not.

"If we can have Eoin, develop him and maybe get him into some senior football on a Saturday afternoon then hopefully there’s a player who can get into our first team and do that job for us.

"Sometimes you can use so much energy to get into the final third you're a little bit shattered. That’s when you need a bit of composure. From a technical point of view, you need a nice connection with the ball to put it into the right area and he did do that.

"For the first goal, it came from one of his crosses when Leon (Maloney) headed it back and Ellis put it in. He put in two or three crosses like that. Someone with pace and a nice left foot is gold dust really.

"Everyone would have been impressed with his pace and turn of speed to career down the left-hand side. That’s what we want from our wide players.

"We want players that pick it up and go at the full-back. Let’s be honest, everyone does like that when players get to the line and sling in crosses. It's a little bit old-school but very effective."

There's no doubt Teggart will view Gallen's latest comments as encouragement that his first senior appearance will soon be followed by plenty more.

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