WOKING midfielder Shaun Donnellan says that he’ll give everything to ensure success for the club this season.
The 22-year-old signed during the summer, and believes his style fits boss Alan Dowson’s template.
“I’m all heart,” he told the News & Mail. “I pass the ball well, win my headers, win my tackles, and I give everything. Things have gone really well since I joined. The lads are a good bunch and there’s a good work ethic about the club, so I’m enjoying it.”
It didn’t take long for Donnellan to secure his move. So impressed was Dowson after Donnellan’s performance in a full-sided game – in only his second training session – that he was offered a contract as he walked off the pitch.
Barnet-born Donnellan was convinced about the move by talking to Chelsea goalkeeper and friend Nathan Baxter, who spent the 2017-18 season at Kingfield. The pair were at Yeovil Town together last term.
Donnellan comes from rich footballing stock. His father Leo Donnellan played for Fulham and represented the Republic of Ireland at youth level, and his uncle Gary Donnellan played for Reading and Yeovil.
He said: “My old man never forced me into football, there was no pressure. He didn’t send me to an academy until I was 14. He didn’t want me playing academy football – he wanted me to enjoy my football and school.
“When I did sign at 14, school football was still a priority. He said ‘If you’re good at 16 you can have a go at it’. So when I turned 16 I began to pursue it properly.”
It was then that the youngster joined the West Bromwich Albion academy, where he was always playing ahead of his years, making his debut for the club’s under-21s when he was 16.
He also went on to represent Republic of Ireland under-21s, scoring a “crazy” winner in the ninth minute of injury-time of a European Under-21 Championships qualifier against Azerbaijan. The Ireland side featured Declan Rice.
Read the full interview in the 8 August edition of the News & Mail