Teenage Dungannon Swift talks about an “amazing experience” against Real Madrid and AC stars


Dangonon Swift teen Terry Devlin says meeting the best young players in France gave him the motivation to take his game to the next level.

Devlin, who was still only 18, made his Under-21 debut in Northern Ireland after losing 5-0 to France at the Under-21 team in Calais during the last international window.

Despite the heavy defeat, the talented midfielder saw it as a valuable experience against some of France’s best young talent.

Among the Les Blues teams are Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, Milan defender Pierre Kaloulou and Nice striker Amine Gouer, who joined Ligue 1 club from Lyon in 2020 in 6 minutes in 2020.

“It was a tough experience, but it was a great experience,” said Devlin, who debuted at Dungannon at age 16 in December 2019

“I’ve seen them on TV many times and they are the best players. It was hard, but it was a great way to learn. That’s your goal: to be as good as them.

“I was happy to be there all week and learned from the best players. I didn’t expect to go up or a minute.

“When I was told I was going out on time, I was buzzing. I was a bit nervous, but once I got in I was fine.”

Devlin, who was with Northern Ireland at the Under-19 level, was surprised to see a John Schofield plate added to the last international window.

He told Dungannon Swifts FC’s official YouTube channel: “I was shocked when I got the email or message because it’s clear I’m so young.

“It was a small reward for my hard work when I left at 19 and broke my leg the day before. I was so happy to call.

“Playing with the best players of my age in Northern Ireland and playing against the best players in the world was an amazing experience.”

Devlin was also pleased to meet former teammate Usain Smith, who left Daganon in the January transfer window for the Oxford United League.

“I haven’t seen him in a month or two, so it was good to talk to him,” she said. “He helped me, took care of me all week and introduced me to all the kids.”

Several Irish players have played against the French: Devlin, Kofi Palmer (Larry), John McGovern (New York City) and Chris Mackie, currently on loan at Linfield from Rangers.

Source: Belfastlive


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