TROY PARROTT is an Ireland hopeful whose reputation precedes him.Schoolboy football watchers in Dublin were sure he was going places from the moment he started banging in the goals for Belvedere.1 Troy Parrott of the Republic of Ireland shoots to score in an under-21 clash with SwedenCredit: SportsfileAnd he was not even 12 months at Tottenham when Spurs fans wondered if Mauricio Pochettino was going to put the 16-year-old in their Champions League final-bound team.An Ireland debut followed last November, while four goals in four appearances for Stephen Kenny’s Under-21s whetted the appetite for what could happen in future.And the thing that might be easily forgotten — if Jose Mourinho did not keep reminding everyone — is that Parrott is still only 18 and has just two years of full-time training in him.But his talent was always there.HOT PROSPECTHe started playing with Sheriff, then Stella, before moving to Belvedere — all clubs local to his Buckingham Street home — and Ireland call-ups soon followed.Ireland Under-19 boss Tom Mohan remembers seeing and hearing about him long before he had an opportunity to work with him.He told SunSport: “I first had Troy against Wales in 2018 but we would have regular international manager meetings and Jason Donohoe was always talking about the performances for the Under-15s.“You’d know of him from the Kennedy Cups, he was a hot prospect.”MOVED UP QUICKLYJust as now, he was then comfortable playing in older age groups with Colin O’Brien taking him to the Uefa Under-17 Championships in England in 2018 even though he was still the right age for Under-16.Not long after that, he was again called on to play up an age — for the Hano Cup at Richmond Park.The charity five-a-side tournament, in memory of St Pat’s fan Niall Hannigan, is over 18s and Parrott, then 16, helped his team to victory.Few copped that the guy scoring all the goals for the Malthouse Pub team was on Spurs’ books though, within six months, he was joining Pochettino’s travelling squad for Champions League games.NEVER FAZEDIreland Under-17 manager O’Brien reckons Parrott’s attitude is a key part of how he has risen so quickly.O’Brien told SunSport: “Nothing really fazed him as regards opponents or where he had to play. He always took that in his stride.“The thing with Troy was we always knew his ability but his work-rate was incredible.”It is something that new Ireland boss Kenny has also seen.BRILLIANT FINISHERParrott is viewed as an out-and-out striker by Spurs, though Kenny used him as a playmaker and even on the left wing for the Under-21s.The fact he bagged four goals in four games in that time shows that taking him further from goal does not impact on his finishing. Kenny said: “Troy is a No 9. He is a brilliant, brilliant finisher and he has great instincts for getting into goal-scoring opportunities.Troy ParrottBorn: February 4, 2002 in DublinPosition: StrikerClub: Tottenham Hotspur (joined from Belvedere in 2018)Contract: Until 2023First team debut: September 24, 2019 v Colchester UnitedFirst team appearances: 4International honours: Capped at Ireland Under-15, Under-16, Under-17, Under-19, Under-21 and Senior level. Member of the 2018 UEFA Under 17 Championship squad.“He smells his chance and he has a different way of scoring goals.“He wouldn’t be ecstatic about moving to the left but he’s a team player, too, he puts in a shift for the team. And he scores brilliant goals.”GOOD ATTITUDEAnd Mohan, who briefly managed him in Parrott’s flying visit to Under-19 level — when still Under-17 — on his way up to Under-21s, also hailed his team ethic.Mohan told SunSport: “Troy has been one of the most-talked-about players in Ireland but he has a good attitude and temperament so he doesn’t really let that bother him.“He just wants to play. He’s at an important stage of his career and he’s hungry to play first-team football but he’s just 18 and we’ve got to be mindful of that.“But his chance will come because he’s a hard-working lad.”SENIOR DEBUTThat work ethic led to his last Ireland Under-21 cap last November against Sweden.On the bench for Mick McCarthy’s senior team against Denmark having made an impressive debut versus New Zealand the previous week, Parrott was keen when asked to play for Kenny’s Under-21s the next night.Kenny said at the time: “When someone of his ability comes along, you definitely play him.”Now all eyes will be on what Kenny does with him when international football restarts later this year.NEEDS TO PLAYThe new Ireland gaffer has already said he will select his team based on who is playing for their clubs.But he will surely hope that Parrott can kick on at Spurs.A first start came in the Carabao Cup under Pochettino last September, followed by a cameo in the Premier League against Burnley under Mourinho last December.MORE IN SPORTCommentPHIL THOMASDiving and whining was never a good look and will seem worse after lockdownExclusive’I’M IN A BAD WAY’Ex-England star Kenny Sansom talks for first time since being attackedExclusiveBOURNE AGAINHowe says Cherries are stronger after lockdown with FIVE fit-again starsExclusiveSWAN THAT GOT AWAYSwansea wanted £3m Davies three years ago but couldn’t get work permitExclusiveMARK MY WORDSJennings reveals life story from adoption to drug abuse and suicide attemptsNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticBut Parrott has only made two appearances, one in stoppage time and one in the FA Cup, since then.A loan to Charlton to get first-team action was scuppered by Uefa regulations which meant Spurs could not claim him as a ‘homegrown’ player if he moved at that time — and Tottenham know they have something special.Parrott signed on his 16th birthday and was recently awarded a new contract. Mourinho may not be in as big a rush as everyone else to see him play but the signs are he will be around for a long time.