Coll parts company with United

Manchester United and goalkeeper Joe Coll from Meenlaragh have parted company.

Manchester United and goalkeeper Joe Coll from Meenlaragh have parted company.

The 18-year-old signed for the Premier League giants two years ago and having completed his two-year apprenticeship was on the verge of starting as a first year professional this term. However, the teenager this week departed the club along with former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker Michael Owen, Tomas Kuszczak, another underage goalkeeper, Liam Jacob.

Coll, who also played underage Gaelic football for Cloughaneely GAA club and helped them to the U-16 county championship in 2009, before moving to England, played seven times for the United academy side as well as making the substitutes’ bench for the club’s reserve team. He has also represted the Republic of Ireland at U-15, U-16 and U-17 level.

Several clubs approached Coll before in recent years after he was spotted by a Charlton scout playing in the Kennedy Cup competition for Donegal in Limerick. Arsenal, Chelsea, Wolves, Newcastle, Spurs, Manchester City and Celtic showed interest, but Sir Alex Ferguson convinced him his future lay at United.

Coll’s father Tom led Glenea Unted as manager to their first Donegal League Premier Division championship win since 2004 in May, thanks to a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over neighbours Gweedore Celtic at a wet and windy Ballyare.