Bohs ace Warren happy to snub California for Cabra
He turned down the chance of a move to the Californian sun to stay on in dreary Dublin.
But Bohemians defender Warren O'Hora could not be happier with his lot after the 18-year-old made the breakthrough to the first team at League of Ireland level.
While the 2017 season has not been a vintage one in terms of overall quality, Cork City champions-elect at the half-way stage of the season and indifferent form from the chasing pack of Dundalk, Bray Wanderers, Shamrock Rovers and Derry City, this campaign has seen some clubs give youth its fling.
Rovers scored four goals in last week's win over a struggling Drogheda United, three of those goals scored by teenagers.
Thomas Byrne (18) is a regular for Drogheda United while Rory Feely (20) is established with St Patrick's Athletic; Cork City last week handed a debut to 19-year-old defender Sean O'Mahony.
But last weekend was a big deal for O'Hora, as the Cabra lad made his full debut for Bohs, the club he supported as a kid, O'Hora starting in defence as Bohs beat Sligo Rovers 2-0. "Friday was brilliant: my full debut, my first game at home, a clean sheet and a win, it was a good scalp to beat Sligo," says O'Hora.
"You see a lot of young players get a chance in the first team now. I think the League of Ireland is on the up as younger lads are getting games, you see the young boys in the first team at Rovers especially.
"We have a lot of talent in the league and at this club as well, I really rate a lot of the players in the Bohs U19s and hopefully they can kick on."
In a way it's a surprise that he's still in Dublin as he was all set to go off to the USA on a scholarship but changed his mind. He could still be lost to the game here as a number of English clubs want to take the former St Kevin's Boys player on trial but for now, he's pleased to have made the call that saw him snub California.
"I have been waiting two years for this, to play for the team in the League of Ireland, I had been on the bench but didn't get on the field and I had my head turned to go to America but I decided to stay, I think I was just ready to come in and play the game last week, the nerves went away immediately, once I got my first pass and my first tackle in, I was fine," he says. "I was thinking about going over to the USA to do a scholarship, I had something lined up in California but I made the choice to stay here and try to get into the team here.
"I felt I could get a chance in the team at Bohs, I was pretty confident I'd get a a run in the side at some stage and it was a matter of waiting.
"I was a Bohs fan as a kid, so it meant the world to me to come and play for the side at Dalymount in a league game. We had a decent crowd for the Sligo match last week so it was a big night for me, to go and celebrate in front of the fans was amazing," added O'Hora, who began with Cabra side Dingle United and found his way to Bohs via Ashbourne in the NDSL and St Kevin's Boys.
Former team-mates at St Kevin's have already gone away, like Mikey Cregan (Stevenage) and Dara O'Shea and Evan Pierce (West Brom) and he could follow.
"I was at Reading for trials before and I have two trials lined up in England for later this summer, so maybe I can do well on trial, get to see out the season at Bohs and see what happens then," he says.