Cotter Laughs Off Neymar Look-a-Like Viral Fame
Friday, 4th May 2018 16:37
Town teenager Barry Cotter has laughed off his resemblance to Barcelona and Brazil superstar Neymar, who is these days with PSG, which went viral and attracted international media attention when he was with previous club Limerick.
The youngster smiled: “It was the haircut that led to the comparison so thank God that’s gone!
“I supported Barcelona because for years when I was growing up I watched La Liga before any Premier League matches.
"When I look back on that episode it’s hard to explain what it was like – but it was funny, wasn’t it?
“Did I enjoy it? Well, it was alright, and it gave me a bit of experience in dealing with the media side of things, I guess.
“There was no contact between us but my agent spoke to his agent, which was as close as it got.
"He was just trying to see if there was a chance of us meeting up but he, Neymar, was too busy. Well, he’s Neymar to be fair. I’d have loved to have met him – it would have seemed like a miracle.”
But despite already clocking up two first-team appearances in recent weeks – and looking set to make it three against Middlesbrough at Portman Road on Sunday – Cotter is keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground and there is no danger of him getting carried away.
He said: “Ipswich is perfect for me right now, at this stage of my career. I just have to work and use all the facilities to help me impress the next gaffer when he arrives.
“The standard here is absolutely unbelievable, and me and the boys work every day. Whether it’s extras or just rest, we do everything properly and you can see why there are so many promising young players coming up through the ranks.
“It’s so exciting to be a part of this new era at the club. It’s why you have to love it, isn’t it? There isn’t a lot being said between the players about who might be coming in as the new manager.
“I’m just working on my own game and trying to get better. No matter who the new manager is, I’m just going to do my best to try to impress him.”
Cotter recalled how his career took off in Ireland. “It was an open trial at Limerick and my mate was down to take part,” he remembered.
“He was the one who suggested I should get myself in there and start to move up the ranks. I always wanted to be a footballer so it was great that Limerick accepted me.
“I ended up leaving school so I could focus 100 per cent on my football. I guess it has paid off a small bit, getting this far.
“I didn’t get into the Limerick first team straight away. I went from the U17s after two years into the U19s, and it was halfway through my second year with them that I got into the first team. I played a year and a bit with them.
“Back home they love a kid who wants to drive on and push forward. If you talked to my old coaches they wouldn’t say I was the shy type.
“I was at them all the time about doing extra work and asking what else I could do to improve and make me better. I had a training session with the first team and I asked to stay on and do some extra work.
“I asked so many questions about what I needed to do to advance my career.”
Cotter was a striker and attacking midfielder in his young days but added: “I’m happy where I am – right-back or right wing-back – and that’s where I’m most confident.
“But I’d love to be able to learn to be a midfielder because I think that would be quite interesting. That’s if I had the time but playing at right-back or as a wing-back is where I see my job.”
His debut in the 1-0 home win over struggling Barnsley will live long in his memory. Not only did he make an instant impression on fans with his effervescent display, he also performed a Luke Chambers-style fist pump celebration towards the Sir Bobby Robson stand at the end, despite having been withdrawn soon after the interval.
He laughed: “That was down to Skusey, he was captain and said ‘Go on, give it a go!’ Then Jonas went and did it properly after me. It was a great occasion.
“The gaffer said to me ‘It’s your debut, just go and enjoy it’. I wanted to show everyone that was watching the player that I can be. So I went out and did just that, I enjoyed myself. I tried to make it my own, and that’s exactly what I did, I guess.
“I’m so hungry and I just want to keep on working and improving. I want to be the fittest player in the country. Being involved, getting tested every second for 90 minutes, it’s unbelievable. It’s so enjoyable too.
“But I’m a young man and this could go anywhere. It’s a bit too early to call but I’m part of the furniture, here for the next three years. I’ll just be happy to start getting a few minutes, consistently, next season. I’ll be over the moon with that.
“I’m over here on my own and my family are all back in Ireland. I live with Aaron Drinan, but there’s Harry Wright, Corrie Ndaba, Conor McKendry, Shane McLoughlin, I could go on and on.
“I’m friends with them all and I would never pick one that’s been better than another because they have all been brilliant. It’s a tight circle and they’re my family here. And there’s good old Alan Lee as well!”
Cotter, who used to augment his income at Limerick with stints as a hotel porter and working in a sports shop, added: “I used to box a bit and I was big into the GAA, the Gaelic Athletic Association, with hurling and football. I was always more into the football – I didn’t like getting hit with that stick!
“I never had a difficult decision to make between the two. It was always going to be football for me since I was a wee boy.
“It’s a big ambition of mine to become an international but I feel that my club career has to come first before I even start thinking about that.
“I got three Ireland U19 caps in a La Manga tournament but I haven’t even played 90 minutes in the Championship yet so I still don’t feel I’ve done anything.
“I want to become a proper Championship player and start getting a profile before I start worrying about the bigger things.”
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