CHERRIES manager Eddie Howe has described as “one for the future” new signing Josh O’Hanlon and also believes the teenage striker has “real potential”.
O’Hanlon today put the finishing touches to his move from League of Ireland outfit Longford Town when he signed a three-and-a-half year deal with Cherries, subject to international clearance.
The 18-year-old Dubliner impressed Howe and his staff during a recent trial at Dean Court with Cherries seeing off competition from a host of clubs for his services.
O’Hanlon, who also had a trial with Manchester United, had been tracked by Crystal Palace, Burnley, Reading and Peterborough – with Cherries stumping up around £50,000 to sign him.
He netted seven times in 30 appearances for Longford as they finished runners-up to Athlone Town in Division One of the League of Ireland last season and will join Howe’s first-team squad.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “We had heard good things about Josh so invited him in for a trial. He had been at a couple of other clubs, Manchester United among them, and he came highly recommended to us.
“It is never easy for a young player to step into that environment and it can be quite daunting. But we were pleasantly surprised and he certainly didn’t look out of place.
“He has an eye for goal, he is a big, strong lad and powerfully built. He looked like a player with real potential and you could tell there was a lot development in him, both physically and technically.
“He is someone we have brought in very much for the future. He is not necessarily going to be involved straight away, which he is aware of. But with a lot of hard work and a good attitude, we could have a really good player on our hands in the not too distant future.
“We are excited by him and are looking forward to working with him but don’t want to put too much pressure on him too soon. It is a big jump so we are going to need a bit of patience from everybody.
“He will come in and work with the first team. He will play with the development squad from time to time so he gets the games he needs.
“We will assess how things go. If he does well, further possibilities are open to us depending on how quickly he adapts to life here.
“There has been a real hot-bed of talent coming over from Ireland in recent years and we are hopeful he can be another one.
"In my opinion, there is no limit to what he can achieve, providing he continues along the lines of what we have seen so far.”