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Trai Hume backed to make move across the water as David Healy says Linfield teenager’s big decision has paid off


Trai Hume

Trai Hume


Trai Hume

David Healy has admitted he was surprised Trai Hume did not land a transfer across the water when he was 16 but three years on the Linfield manager believes the youngster could still make a move to England or Scotland.

And Northern Ireland’s record goalscorer points out that with more Irish League games under his belt, defender Hume will be better prepared in the future should a chance come along.

Hume, who has been at Linfield since he was a schoolboy, spent last season on loan at Ballymena United where he performed superbly. Now 19, he is back with Linfield and impressed in their Champions League defeat to Lithuanian outfit Zalgiris at Windsor Park last week.

He may be given another shot to shine on Thursday when the Blues host Bosnian side Borac Banja Luka in the first leg of their second qualifying round Europa Conference League clash.

“We showed a lot of faith in Trai when he was 16 and he was in and around training with us for two and a half or three years before he went to Ballymena,” explained Healy.

“Trai made a big decision last year to go on loan and it worked out for him because he got the games and minutes he craved. He is back with a bit more experience. He gives us options and he will get plenty of games no doubt.

“Trai has an edge to his game and at 15 was the captain of the Victory Shield team. For whatever reason whether he was too small, clubs didn’t take a chance on him.

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“Some people get a bit carried away if players don’t get an opportunity to go away at 16 and think that’s the end of it. Others have proved if you play 70 or 80 games in the Irish League you are better prepared physically and mentally to go and play at a better level.

“Trai has only played 30 games so he still has a lot of developing to do. The more games that he gets with us the better for him, You only have to look at Shayne Lavery. He played 70 or 80 games the last two seasons for us and is away to Blackpool. Joel Cooper, Gavin Whyte, Mark Sykes and others have also played a lot of Irish League games before they moved across so it can be done.”

And if a club shows interest in Hume? “If any of our players are wanted, clubs can go to our club or the chairman,” said Healy.

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