Joseph Walshe is a promising young goalkeeper who has plied his trade with many a Laois side – and has recently signed with League of Ireland side Wexford Youths.
21-year-old Walshe has put pen to paper with the South East club who play in the First Division.
Walshe began his soccer career playing for Abbeyleix, before moving to Portlaoise AFC, Rosenallis FC, back to Portlaoise and Abbeyleix, before finally settling with Portlaoise for the 2018-19 season.
Speaking to LaoisToday, Walshe explained how this once in a lifetime opportunity happened to him.
He said: “I’m down doing an FAI course in Waterford and my course leader suggested it to me.
“The Wexford Youths coach (Carl Grehan) asked me to play in a trial game against an American academy and I was signed immediately after the game,” said the 21 year old shot-stopper.
He also said that it was never the set goal from day one to be a goalkeeper.
“When I was younger I played left-back. One day our goalkeeper was missing so I went into goals!”
Walshe has already made his made his debut for the team in a friendly against Cobh Ramblers on Saturday, February 2.
He performed well on the line, making a number of saves for the Wexford side, however it was the Cobh who went on to win the game 3-1.
The Laois man now hopes the young Wexford Youths side can develop at a steady rate this year.
“We’re a young team and this year I hope we build a learning curve – there’s a lot of new signings so it’s about learning to play together,” he said.
Walshe has proved his talent not only in soccer, but in Gaelic football too.
The Heath clubman spent two years on the Laois senior panel under Tomás Ó Flatharta and John Surgue, while playing for Laois minors under Mick Lillis in 2015 and also Laois U21s.
But now, he is set to take up his place in goals at Ferrycarrig Park for the 2019 season which gets underway on February 22.
Walshe becomes the fourth Laois footballer to sign for a League of Ireland club ahead of the upcoming season.
Portarlington native Aaron Conway is on the books at fellow First Division team Galway United.
While Stradbally’s Garry Comerford is with Cork City this season in the Premier Division after departing Waterford FC.
Clonaslee goalkeeper Niall Corbett, who was also with Waterford last year, will play for Bohemians after being signed as a replacement for the recently retired Shane Supple.
Walshe will line out for the Wexford Youths side as they take on Athlone Town in Athlone on Friday, February 22 at 7.45pm.