CARABAO CUP hero, Caoimhin Kelleher, played as a SCAMER until he was 14 years old, according to his youth team coach.
Kelleher, 23 years old, missed the winning penalty in Liverpool’s dramatic Wembley win over Chelsea on Sunday.
Kelleher then watched Chelsea face Kepa Arrizabalaga sky-high exerting miles above his bar as the Reds clinched their first silver trophy of the season.
But it turned out Liverpool had a secret advantage when the 11-10 penalty went to the keeper – as their saver was a budding centre-back grew up in Ireland.
That was until his father intervened, according to the former Ireland goalkeeper’s coach from the Cork Schoolboys League.
Eddie Harrington revealed: “He’s only scored at Under-14 level.
“It was a big transition. We taught him to pass it from the back but maybe he had a chance to become a midfielder.
“He’s a very good centre-back and represents his district in that position.
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“For three or four years, he was our center and just one accidental phone call from his father to me changed everything.
“We have an underage goalkeeper leaving because he doesn’t want to play anymore.
“Ray, his father, called me and asked: ‘Are you going to put Caoimhin in goal?”
“Myself and the other coaches were very reluctant when we were about to lose our main striker.
“But we thought to listen to Ray on this as he feels his boy can achieve something in a position like he’s done a bit of training with him.
“We just threw him in and it was half a season for the Under-14s.
“It’s strange how things go, it makes the ball roll in that respect.
“It’s a story I always tell people here but it’s a very surreal story.”
Kelleher played 17 games for the Reds after joining their youth team in 2015.
The last heroes saw the young Irishman stand out for Liverpool.
When asked about the penalty after the game, he told Sky Sports: “I think it was hit more and hopefully.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/4785184/caoimhin-kelleher-was-striker-growing-up/ Liverpool star Caoimhin Kelleher didn’t play in the goal until he was 14 and the forward is maturing ahead of Carabao Cup triumphs