Nivea Player Profile: Seamus Coleman
Our look at players who took the road less travelled to make it to the big time continues with Ireland's own Seamus Coleman
As a player, Coleman started his sporting career as a GAA man, playing in Killybegs for his local club side Na Cealla Beaga (no prizes for guessing what that means).
He was spotted by Sligo Rovers in a friendly game he played against them at age 16, which is pretty late in the day for a man who would take to the Premiership like a duck to water.
Coleman played with Sligo Rovers from 2006, making his debut in a game against Derry City in the Brandywell, and solidly plugged away at the club, impressing with his performances. Willie McStay, who had played for Sligo and managed them before, recommended to David Moyes that he check out Coleman and keep an eye on him, and understandably he was bought by Everton for £150,000 in January 2009.
At the age of 21, Coleman had to adjust to a whole different level of football, and made his way up through the reserve team to be in contention for the first team squad by the end of that season.
However he had another obstacle to over come when a foot injury (an infected blister, of all things) ended up almost threatening his career, and after surgery, he had to take the slow and painful road through recovery to get back to where he had been.
When he finally did come back he slotted into the first team as if he'd been there all along, and although his debut against Benfica in Lisbon didn't go too well (the side ended up losing 5-0), his home debut in the Premier League against Tottenham was a roaring success, as he set up two goals.
He was later loaned out to Blackpool to keep gaining experience, and he proved himself once again, helping Holloway's side win promotion to the Premier League. Everton weren't about to let him go, and signed him up on a three-year deal as a result.
His rampaging runs from the back and his willingness to take on defenders with the ball at his feet have made him somewhat of a rarity within the Ireland squad, and perhaps it was his lack of formal training in the game until an advanced age that sees him play with such freedom.
He plays as if he has no fear, and is extremely comfortable on the ball, so when he returned to Everton and continued to impress for his club side, the pressure grew on Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni to call him up for Ireland, which he duly did in 2011.
He had an outstanding season in 2010/2011 which saw him short-listed for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, and he was named as Everton's young player of the year.
He's scored the odd goal for his club too, one particularly memorable one is this beautiful finish in their 5-1 win against Cheltenham in the FA Cup this season, which happens around 4:20 into the clip below.
His performances in the most recent games against the Faroe Islands and Georgia saw him stand out even further, and he proved, with what little of the ball Ireland did have against the Spaniards, that no matter the opponent he is happy get the ball down and play.
With his former manager David Moyes now moved on to Manchester United, Seamus Coleman will possibly be afforded an even greater role under Roberto Martinez, who likes to play attacking football, which would involve more overlapping runs from his full backs.
We're sure that Seamus Coleman will have plenty more success to come in the future, and we're hoping that that success will happen for both club and country.