Aaron Mulligan created a little bit of history recently, as he became the first player from the Monaghan/Cavan Football Partnership to receive an International call-up, when he was included in the Republic of Ireland’s Under 16 squad for a UEFA Development Tournament held in Mayo.
The Monaghan United Cavan Football Partnership was set up in 2015 to provide a platform for underage players in the Cavan/Monaghan region to experience the highest level of football in Ireland. They now compete in both the SSE Airtricity League’s U-17 and U-19 level.
Aaron, who lines out for the Under 17’s under coach Paul Smyth, made his debut late on against Northern Ireland in a 4-2 win, whilst making in full-debut in the 2-1 win over Kosovo.
theleagueofireland.com caught up with the young midfielder after that tournament.
“This season has been going good for me personally, with the recent call up to the international set up, which was a boost for myself and the team.”
We asked him how he felt when he first learned of his call-up, “I was shocked and delighted when I found out, it came as such a shock as I never thought I would get the chance.”
He knows how special it is to play for his country saying, “Playing for my country was an amazing feeling, singing the national anthem and wearing the green and white.”
“I am developing well with the coaches in Monaghan/Cavan, they are really improving my all round game.”
“My football ambitions are ideally to play across the water in England, and if that doesnt work out a career here maybe an option.”
When asked who had the biggest influence on his career, we got a surprising answer, “My father and mother have been the biggest influence on my career as they have brought me around the country and funded a lot of my career to date.”
Monaghan/Cavan Manager Paul Smyth said about the midfielder, “Aaron is a lad with lots of ability but above all he is a great young person. He’s a modest, down to earth young man.”
“The international opportunity was wonderful for him and he has come back with a determination to improve further.”
Smyth had this to say on his ability, “He is a left footed player who can play at left back or equally as well in the midfield area. He has good awareness, is a very clever player and shows composure on the ball.”
With this opportunity for Aaron it shows his team-mates and others that there is a real pathway with the partnership, “It was a great boost to the lads on the team as it showed that International opportunities like that can happen while playing with the Monaghan/Cavan Football Partnership.”
“On the bus to the Athlone game, all of the lads were keen to ask Aaron loads of questions about his experience with Ireland.”