Sheffield United: Clough’s full of praise as Dimaio goes Dutch

Connor Dimaio - Sheffield United
Connor Dimaio - Sheffield United
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Connor Dimaio will take the latest step in his professional development on Monday when Republic of Ireland’s U19s face Holland on Monday.

And Nigel Clough, the youngster’s manager at Sheffield United, believes the talented midfielder possesses the necessary qualities to have a bright future in the game.

Still only 18 years of age, Dimaio made his first-team debut last season and went on to make three appearances for Clough’s side.

He caught the eye when handed a surprise start in a youthful team which beat Rotherham United 1-0 at Bramall Lane back in April, and Clough said: “The really impressive thing about Connor is his range. He plays predominately as a holding player in our youth teams, but we don’t want to pigeon-hole him into that kind of role because he is a really good all-round player.

“He’s not one-dimensional at all. He’s got a lot of work to do yet, of course, but importantly he’s shown the willingness to improve. It’s up to him to kick on and carry on to progress, but his attitude is excellent.”

Dimaio and fellow Blade Joel Coustrain linked up with their U19 colleagues earlier this week ahead of Monday’s friendly at Dublin’s Tallaght Stadium.

United’s U18 captain Ioan Evans made his first appearance for Wales’ U19 in their 2-1 win over Montenegro on Thursday, and Jamie McDonagh featured twice for Northern Ireland U19s against Iceland - scoring a brace in a 3-1 in Belfast yesterday.

Blades youth Shea Gordon is expected to captain Northern Ireland U17s in their UEFA Championship qualifying round tournament in Slovenia later this month.

n Meanwhile, organisers of United’s 125th anniversary celebration event, at Ponds Forge later this month, have invited fans to nominate their favourite-ever Blades game.

Supporters can nominate via the Club’s official Twitter and Facebook sites.