James Abankwah has been the talk of Irish football this week and yet it doesn’t seem that long ago he was picking up the U8 Player of the Year award at our presentation night in the Station House Hotel back in 2011.
James has just put pen to paper to sign for Italian Serie A giants Udinese from St. Patrick’s Athletic for a record League of Ireland transfer fee believed to be in the region of €500,000 which could rise to €1 million depending on appearances.
He will move to Italy in the summer after he completes his Leaving Certificate.
Speaking to the club’s website, James’ Dad Isaac, who served as a minister in Letterkenny between 2007 and 2011, said: “James has fantastic memories of his time playing with Letterkenny Rovers. The coaches (Michael Boyle, Derek Plumb and Brian Gallagher) treated him so well and he loved playing with his team mates. He was very proud to win his player of the year award which he has still kept. We are very excited for the future but first he must concentrate on his studies as well."
After moving to Longford, James went on to play for local club Melview and then Dublin schoolboys outfit Cherry Orchard before joining St. Pat’s who he won an FAI Cup winners medal with last November. He is also a Republic of Ireland U19 international.
An inspirational story to every young footballer that dreams do come true and we are proud that his journey started here at Leckview Park!
All at Letterkenny Rovers FC wish James every success on this amazing opportunity.
(Presentation night photos courtesy of Stephen Doherty.)