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Young Irish goalie catches the eye of the game’s biggest stars

A young potential football star of the future has caught the eye of some of the game’s biggest names after a clip of him training in his back garden went viral.

Nathan Flanagan is just 11 years old, but the keen goalkeeper designed a drill he could practice while on his own due to the coronavirus lockdown.

He stands beside his goalpost and kicks the ball at the wall in front of him. Nathan then has to dive across his goal to make a save before the ball goes into the other corner of his goal.

Young goalkeeper Nathan Flanagan

The youngster then repeats the drill from the other side.

Nathan’s mum Sarah-Jayne Tobin recorded her son in action and posted the video online where it caught the attention of Manchester United goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel.

The Great Dane as he is affectionately known commented: “Nothing, not even an evil virus” like Covid-19 “should stop a talented goalkeeper from working on getting better.”

Former England goalkeeper Ben Foster added: “What a legend!!!! I don’t know how we’re gonna be able to do it but I’m gonna have to put a training session on for ya!!!! Keep going mate I love it.”

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Grace Moloney posted “love this” as did Spain international David de Gea, while Premier League star Tom Heaton added that he thought Nathan’s work was “very impressive”.

The video has so far been viewed more than 7.6 million times and Leeds Utd fan Nathan is delighted with the positive comments he has received.

His mum wrote on Twitter: “That was a day to remember!!!!

“No joke; Nate has a rake of interviews tomorrow. He’s buzzing, this has been the most wonderful distraction from a thing that was worrying him- so, thanks Twitter!

“Delighted you all enjoyed the video!”

There may be yet high-class training for Nathan in the future as his video was also spotted by World Cup winner and one of football’s nicest guys Juan Mata.

The Spaniard posted: “One day, if he wants, and when all this is over, I would like to practice my free kicks with him on goal! What do you think?”

Take a look at the impressive training drill from Nathan below.

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