Manchester United youth player Harvey Neville who is Phil Nevilles son has been named in the Republic of Ireland’s latest U19 squad.
The Republic of Ireland U19s will face Denmark U19s on Friday, October 11th. Harvey is a player of particular interest in the Ireland U19 squad, as he is the son of former Manchester United and Everton player.
Neville’s inclusion in the Ireland squad will come as a surprise to many football fans, given his family history. His father, Phil, is currently the head coach of the England international women’s team.
During his playing career, his father earned 59 international caps for England. Meanwhile, the 17-year-olds uncle, Manchester United legend Gary Neville, earned 85 international caps with England.
The youngster appears to be hoping to follow in his family’s footsteps as a young Manchester United player. Both his father and his uncle were members of Manchester United’s famous ‘Class of ‘92’.
However, he may be intending to explore a different path with his international career. Neville qualifies to play for Ireland due to his mother, Julie’s heritage. Julie is a nutritionist and author, who gives the youngster his Irish roots.
The youngster had been honing his craft in Valencia until July 2018, when he moved to Manchester United. Followers of Manchester United’s youth squads have been treated to the nostalgic sight of Neville at right-back this season. The youngster has been playing in the right-back position for the Manchester United U18 squad this season.
The young Neville has shown himself to be capable both in attack and defence throughout his youth football career. He is also comfortable with using either foot and can play higher up the pitch, as a winger, as well as a full-back.
He is now a prospect for both Manchester United, and Republic of Ireland fans, to keep an eye on.
Some Irish fans have been critical of the inclusion of Harvey Neville in the Republic of Ireland U19 squad. The memory of Declan Rice’s late switch to becoming an England international, after playing for Ireland from U17 level, all the way up the ranks to senior international friendly games, is still fresh in the minds of Irish fans.
NEVILLE FAMILY HISTORY
Given Neville’s family history, many fans feel that the youngster could follow a similar path if he proves good enough. Ironically, Harvey’s uncle Gary Neville has recently publically condemned Declan Rice’s international switch.
Neville recently called on FIFA and UEFA to change their rules regarding switches of international allegiance. He stated that “a player should not be allowed to play for his country’s senior team and then switch.”
He went on to say that playing for one’s country is “about an emotion” as opposed to success or playing time. Neville’s opinion on such matters is interesting considering his nephew’s decision to join the Republic of Ireland’s U19 team.
Harvey Neville is a long way off reaching the point that Declan Rice did. The 17-year-old is yet to play a single game for the Irish U19 squad. However, if his family has given him any advice on the matter, he may truly be considering committing his future to the Irish team.
The domestic production of quality Irish internationals is a growing issue and one that needs to be addressed. Is getting Phil Neville’s son into the squad the way to help young players.
However, it is only right for Irish fans to give their support to all of the Boys in Green. Neville’s development will be interesting to watch for Irish fans going forward.
The full Republic of Ireland U19 squad for their upcoming international games is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Sean Bohan (Bohemians), Jimmy Corcoran (Preston North End), Bobby Jones (Wigan Athletic)
Defenders: Ronan Boyce (Derry City), Ben Greenwood (AFC Bournemouth), Oisin McEntee (Newcastle United), Mark McGuinness (Arsenal), Mazeed Ogungbo (Arsenal), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Lewis Richards (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Timi Sobowale (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Jamie Bowden (Tottenham Hotspur), Barry Coffey (Celtic), Dawson Devoy (Bohemians), Donal Higgins (Galway United), Conor Grant (Sheffield Wednesday), Harvey Neville (Manchester United), Armstrong Oko-Flex (Celtic), Tyreik Wright (Aston Villa)
Forwards: Tom Cannon (Everton), Ryan Cassidy (Watford), Festy Ebosele (Derby County), Alex Gilbert (West Bromwich Albion), Conor Noß (Borussia Monchengladbach), George Nunn (Chelsea), Thomas Oluwa (Shamrock Rovers), Ross Tierney (Bohemians)