Wicklow town boy to lead the Republic of Ireland out against Austria

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolf with Wicklow goalkeeper Cathal Byrne

As Ireland prepares for its crucial World Cup qualifier against Austria this Sunday, goalkeeper Darren Randolph was given the important task on behalf of Three of giving #TheCallUp to seven year old super fan Cathal Byrne.

Budding goalkeeper Cathal lives with a co-ordination disorder known as dyspraxia but that doesn’t deter him from getting in between the posts. The football mad youngster’s dream is to walk out alongside his favourite player Darren Randolph as Irish mascot.

As part of #TheCallUp campaign, Cathal was brought to the FAI training ground in Abbottstown under the pretence he was getting an exclusive behind the scenes look at where the team trains and Martin O’Neill conducts his pre-game interviews. Taking his place in the manager’s hot seat, Cathal’s face lit up with surprise when his hero Darren Randolph entered the press room and sat down next to him. Enquiring as to why Cathal wanted to be a goalkeeper over playing outfield, the young Wicklow fan revealed I don’t really like… getting kicked in the leg.”

As Darren presented Cathal with his own Ireland goalkeeper kit and signed gloves, he offered some words of encouragement hopefully in the future, if you keep working hard – you’ll be able to wear one for the Senior team as well.” Following a high five between the pair, Cathal rounded off his day watching the team prepare for this Sunday’s huge game at the Aviva Stadium and is looking forward to be mascot at the next match.

Fans can watch the video and join the conversation on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MuOYQL6BSA and follow #TheCallUp.

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