The final stage of Brexit and the United Kingdom has finally come to pass, and experts are now looking at what this could mean for Irish football. Why is this? Because English football has always had a direct impact on Irish football.
From way back, football players who star in the top English divisions have come from Ireland. Think about the likes of George Best, Damien Duff, Roy Keane, Robbie Keane, and Paul McGrath, the list is long.
It is a good thing that Ireland has talent potent enough to export to the world’s best league, but at what cost does this happen? If nothing else, it weakens the Irish league by picking up the best young talent.
And now, in the wake of Brexit, analyst Richard Dunne reckons the Irish League will benefit in the long run.
More Time to Develop
In the new setup, English teams will not be allowed to sign players from outside the country until they are 18. Unlike in the past, they will have to wait for such players to attain minimum adulthood before engaging them.
This, Dunne says, will help young players to develop significantly before they move away from home. The argument is that players who move at the age of, say, 16, may fail to achieve their full potential due to homesickness. Such players end up being sent away by the teams that scouted them for not living up to expectations. By staying home much longer, thus, they will be bought as ‘finished products’ who can actually deliver at that high level.
Furthermore, such players having to stay longer at home means they light up the Irish league for longer. This will open up the league to the world, enabling young players also to have other professional playing destinations besides England.