By Harry Walsh
Ten years have passed since young Ramelton goalkeeper Conrad Logan joined Leicester City, then plying their trade in the English Premier Division club, on a five year deal.
The only son of Joe and Marian Logan, 15-year-old Conrad opted to join Leicester having been on trial with a number of cross channel clubs including Celtic, Manchester United, Manchester City and Nottingham Forest.
Conrad made his breakthrough into the side at the start of the 2006-07 campaign – originally playing in the Carling Cup matches against Macclesfield and Hereford before making his league debut in the 0-0 draw with Colchester.
Logan was on loan at Boston United between December 2005 and May 2006, making thirteen appearances for the Pilgrims. A year later (2007) he went out on loan to Stockport County, and helped them gain promotion to League One via the play offs as County beat Rochdale 3-2 in the play-off final at the new Wembley.
The following season Logan missed out on another trip to Wembley, when on loan at Luton Town. Logan was in inspired form during the Hatters’ run, helping them to two penalty shoot-out wins as they made the FA Trophy final. Unfortunately for Logan his loan spell ended before he could play in the final.
Conrad made seven appearances for the Foxes in 2010 before spending the last three months of the season on loan at Bristol Rovers, making 15 appearances. During his time with The Pirates he has became a real fans favourite, putting in many fine displays in goal.
Last week Bristol Rovers chairman Nick Higgs opened talks over a possible three year deal at the Memorial Stadium although Conrad still has one year left on his contract with Leicester City.
Speaking from his Ramelton home earlier this week, Conrad admitted that he is tempted to link up with mangerless Rovers who will be playing League Two football next season.
“It’s hard to beat playing. The chairman has offered me a three year deal but I’ve a year left at Leicester and we’ll wait and see what the summer brings. I’m in no rush. We’ll see who comes in as manager and take it from there.
“I’m twenty-five now and would like to be playing first team football week in, week out. Ideally, I would prefer to do that at Leicester but maybe I’ll have to take a step back in order to go forward.
“I had a brief chat with Sven (former England manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson) on my return from Bristol last week and he said that I had done well for them. He said he would see me at the start of pre-season training on July 1 and we’ll take it from there,” he said.
Conrad is spending two weeks in Ramelton with his daughter Niamh (2) and partner Victoria before they depart to Portugal on a family holiday.
“I’ve a family to look after now. I want to play at the highest possible level but more importantly I just want to get an opportunity to play the game. I enjoyed my time with Bristol and got a good run in the team. I’ve a number of things to weigh up. It’s nice to be offered a three year deal in the current climate so we’ll see what happens,” he said.
As goalkeepers go, Conrad is still a very young man and he is hoping to play well into his thirties.
“I’ve been lucky with injuries to date and, who knows, if I get a good run of first team football under my belt I might even attract interest from the Ireland set-up,” he said.
A Republic of Ireland underage international, Conrad hasn’t figured in senior Irish squads but he’s hopeful that he can do enough next season to force his way onto the squad and, ultimately, challenge fellow Donegal man Shay Given for the No 1 jersey.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Ricardo is among 10 players that will leave Leicester City upon the completion of their existing contracts this summer.
“Chris (Weale) is the current number one but I would like to think I’ll be able to put him under pressure next season,” he said.
In the meantime, Conrad hopes to get in a round or two of golf with his father Joe and spend some time with his partner and daughter before his mind switches to July 1 – pre-season and a new campaign.
By Harry Walsh