Leeds United youth coach and Portadown man Thomas McStravick says Charlie Allen is in good hands at Elland Road and he expects more Irish League players to seal a move across the water.
The 31-year-old is a senior project officer with the community focused Leeds United Foundation and is also the club's under-14 coach.
Helping young players fulfil their potential is one of his major passions in life and that's reflected in his role as founder of the Playing For The Future Group.
Founded in 2009, it's a leading independent youth football academy based in Northern Ireland, featuring long term partnerships with Ulster University and now a new link up with former Manchester United keeper Roy Carroll's goalkeeping scheme.
The Academy is based in Lurgan and Belfast and includes a recently announced partnership with INCISIV which gives goalkeepers the opportunity to avail of world class CleanSheet technology which is used by some top professional clubs.
Uefa A Licence holder Thomas is still on a high after Leeds' return to the Premier League after a 16-year wait and he's also thrilled to see teenage sensation Allen leave Linfield to join Northern Ireland players Stuart Dallas and Alfie McCalmont at the Yorkshire outfit.
Allen (16) had his admirers at top clubs in England and Scotland including Manchester City, Liverpool and Rangers but he believes newly-promoted Leeds can keep him on the right path and Thomas believes it was a smart choice.
"I've been aware of him because he's a very talented player and many speak very highly of him," said Thomas, who helped arrange Robbie McDaid's move to Elland Road when he was at Glenavon.
"He's signed a long term deal and will shine for the under-18s. Hopefully I will get a chance to speak to him and see how he's getting on.
"Charlie could not be in a better place, if you look at Leeds' record, we have one of the most productive academies in English football, not only producing players for our first team but other clubs lower in the pyramid too.
"The club gives players careers and it has a track record of that. It's moved into category one status as a Premier League side and Charlie is certainly in the right place. It will be great to see him progress.
"Stuart (Dallas) and Alfie (McCalmont) are both highly rated. Alfie is obviously very talented and Stuart won the club's Player of the Season. Hands down, he has been the best player not just for his ability but his versatility.
"He's a great example to every young player at an Irish League club - this is what you can achieve through hard work and dedication. It's great to see him do so well."
While Allen can look forward to the exciting new chapter in his promising career, Thomas is confident the steady stream of players progressing to the full-time game from Northern Ireland will continue.
"Leeds and other clubs will undoubtedly keep an eye on our best talent because we have a product that is improving," he adds. "If you look at the investment at Larne and Glentoran with their full-time set-ups and Linfield's progress at home and in Europe it lifts the whole product.
"Players are prepared well to go to England and make a mark. They can sustain a career in England or Scotland.
"When you look at Mark Sykes and Gavin Whyte it shows you players can thrive in that environment and I think we will see a host of top players going across the water.
"Clubs will look for bargains at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has hurt them financially."
Thomas spent three seasons at Glenavon as academy director, working with younger age groups, and he also had a spell at Armagh City in the Championship. He had an intermediate job with St Mary's in Portadown when an opportunity arose at Leeds United, where he is now into his fourth season.
The Playing For The Future group of projects, which include an academy programme, the ABP Craigavon Cup and the Belfast Youth Cup, take up a fair amount of his time but he's loving it. As director of the Playing for the Future Academy, he's working with top youth coaches including Head of Recruitment Steven Savage, Paul Kirk, Ryan Prentice, Darren Murphy, Keith O'Hara, Wesley Boyle, Ross Redman, Thomas Stewart and Paul Matchett.
"We have just opened up our Belfast Academy for trials and we have had a really positive response," added Thomas.
"Things are moving really well. We have brought on board Thomas Stewart as one of our coaches, along with Darren Murphy and we are building a strong team. We have a recruitment framework in place and we are looking for the right type of player to come in and move towards the Northern Ireland set up.
"The standard of player at the trials has been very pleasing and we have a trip to Stoke City coming up this season. We want to develop a pathway for our players to further their careers."