Sheffield United: Why David Parkhouse proved such a big hit on his international debut

David Parkhouse scored on his debut for Northern Ireland under-21's. Pic Matt McNulty/Sportimage
David Parkhouse scored on his debut for Northern Ireland under-21's. Pic Matt McNulty/Sportimage

David Parkhouse has vindicated Northern Ireland’s decision to accelerate his international development, Sheffield United’s academy manager Travis Binnion insisted last night.

The centre-forward, aged 17, marked his debut for the country’s under-21 side by scoring a second-half goal during their Euro 2019 qualifier against Estonia in Tallinn.

Sheffield United's academy manager Travis Binnion

� BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Sheffield United's academy manager Travis Binnion � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Binnion insisted Parkhouse’s inclusion in the squad, together with his performance at Kadriorg Stadium, underlined the wisdom of Ian Baraclough’s decision to award him a call-up.

“What David has done is quite remarkable at his age,” Binnion said. “He still qualifies for much younger age groups but this shows they (Northern Ireland) think he can cut it much higher up.

“David is only 17 and he’s a first year scholar with us. So to be included proves how hard he’s worked and how well he’s done. Now he’s got to keep on improving and carry all of that on.”

Parkhouse, who was born in Strabane, was being courted by Celtic and Birmingham City before joining United from Maiden City. Having cancelled-out Rauno Sappinen’s opener for the hosts with a clinical far post finish, Parkhouse was then responsible for winning the penalty which Liam Donnelly converted to ensure Baraclough’s charges won Thursday’s game.

David Parkhouse impressed in Estonia

David Parkhouse impressed in Estonia

“David has shown real patience, perseverance and desire with us,” Binnion said. “It always takes time to adapt to full-time training.

“He’s an old-fashioned centre-forward who always puts in a real shift. He got invited to a training camp and they obviously liked what they saw.”

Ian Baraclough is now in charge of Northern Ireland's under-21 squad

Ian Baraclough is now in charge of Northern Ireland's under-21 squad