By Scott Taylor
Conor Masterson has been named Under-16 International Player of the Year in an awards ceremony presented by the Irish FA. Masterson previously played for Liverpool at Under-16 level as part of his trial, but when he turned 16, he joined the Reds on a full-time contract in September 2014 after joining from his native Lucan United. Masterson was not present when they gave him the award, but he was presented it by first-team manager Brendan Rodgers.
Upon receiving the award, Masterson is delighted to have won this prestigious award, but remains focused on the coming months. He told liverpoolfc.com:
“It’s such a great honour to receive this award. [However] I’ve got lots to be focusing on in the next few months, including the Euro qualifiers and an upcoming tournament in April, so I’m concentrating really hard on my training.”
The central defender also paid tribute to his former club as well as the Football Association of Ireland, but more so to Lucan, who in his eyes gave him the perfect foundation to develop into the footballer he is today.
“I would like to thank the FAI for recognising me and helping me to develop my future in football and I would also like to thank Lucan United, who gave me great support and a great grounding from which to start my career.”
Now he is at Liverpool, he is looking forward rather than back and revealed why the move to Liverpool was a correct decision for him and his develop. He also stated how honoured he was to be recognised by Rodgers.
“It was fantastic for it to be presented to me by the manager. It’s a great club and when I first visited, everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I have really settled in at the Academy and I have made lots of new friends here. That’s the reason I chose to come here.”
Academy director Alex Inglethorpe summed up his thoughts on his player, and is impressed with his skill levels but also his drive to improve as a player both on and off the field.
“This is a great achievement for Conor and one which is well deserved. He is a very talented and committed player and we are delighted to have him at our Academy,” he said.