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Conor Masterson's Dad: How the DDSL moulded him for a shot at his Liverpool dream


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In recent years, it has become increasingly more difficult for Irish players to break into the first teams of the biggest clubs in the Premier League through the academy system.

But one player who could break the mould is Conor Masterson. The young Kildare native has been promoted to the first team by Jurgen Klopp in the second half of this season, appearing on the bench for the games against Everton and Manchester City in April, although he is yet to make his senior debut for the Champions League finalists - although it appears to only be a matter of time.

The defender started out at Lucan United in the Dublin District Schoolboys League and this week, his father Ciaran Masterson, who coached him for a time, joined Nathan and Kevin in studio alongside DDSL vice-chairman Mick Kennedy as the DDSL prepares to host the inaugural DDSL Lifestyle Sports Friendship Cup.

"He's certainly living an ambition that he's had," said Masterson Sr of his son.

"The experiences he's going through at the moment are a pleasure for us all to see."

But how did Masterson make the journey from the DDSL to the verge of the first team of a club the size and scale of Liverpool?

Conor spoke to us in April after the Merseyside derby: 

"He has come through the DDSL. He was in the Kennedy Cup team and he has represented his country and representing the league from where he comes from and today all that experience that he got in the league is manifesting itself in an opportune time where he has the chance to maybe fulfill his own dream to become a Liverpool footballer," said Masterson Sr, who saw his son's potential from about the age of 7 or 8.

"He showed reasonable promise but again, that promise was only developing because of the competition that we had. Conor was very lucky to play for Lucan United, very lucky to play in the Dublin District Schoolboys League. He had great competition every week and anybody who knows Conor's development and experience would say that he was forged un the league. So I would see Conor as a product of what we're trying to do."  

He also touched on the next challenge for Conor: breaking into the Liverpool first team.

"He's close but so far away," said his father.

"On Wednesday night he had a fantastic opportunity and experience as a fan - he's a Liverpool fan - and being in Rome and being around the team.

"But he would say when he went training the next day and Lallana made a holy show of him, he said he realises how far the gap is between sitting very close to the bench and being on the bench. But it's a different world to try and make sure to get into that squad and into that team." 


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