Aaron Drinan

Aaron John Drinan (born 6 May 1998) is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a striker for Ipswich Town.

Aaron Drinan
Personal information
Full name Aaron John Drinan[1]
Date of birth (1998-05-06) 6 May 1998 (age 23)
Place of birth Cork, Ireland
Position(s) Striker
Club information
Current team
Ipswich Town
Number 25
Youth career
Carrigaline United
2015 Cobh Ramblers
2015–2017 Cork City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2017 Waterford 5 (1)
2018– Ipswich Town 22 (1)
2018Sutton United (loan) 18 (0)
2019Waterford (loan) 18 (7)
2019GAIS (loan) 5 (0)
2020Ayr United (loan) 5 (1)
National team
2019– Republic of Ireland U21 7 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:03, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 08:43, 27 January 2020 (UTC)

He has previously played for League of Ireland sides Cork City, Waterford, English National League side Sutton United, Swedish Superettan club GAIS and Scottish side Ayr United.

Club career

Early career

Drinan began playing football with his local side Carrigaline United, impressing enough to earn a move to Cobh Ramblers, where he would play with their Under-19 side for a short time in early 2015 before moving to their rivals Cork City in the summer of 2015 where he would play until the end of the 2017 season.[2] During his time at Cork's under-19 side, he played alongside Chiedozie Ogbene, Cian Coleman and Conor McCarthy among others.[3]

Cork City

Drinan won his first title with Cork City Under 19's with a win over Limerick at Markets Field on 15 December 2015.[4] His first appearance for the first team came on 9 June 2016, playing 85 minutes of a friendly against Fulham.[5] He was part of the side to the Enda McGuill Cup in September 2016, beating St Patrick's Athletic in the final and qualifying for the UEFA Youth League in the process.[6] Drinan impressed in the UEFA Youth League, scoring the winner in a 1–0 win on aggregate against HJK Helsinki of Finland[7] as well as scoring an equaliser against Italian giants AS Roma.[8] His first involvement in a first team squad for a league game was on 23 June 2017 when he was an unused substitute in a 2–1 win over Derry City at Maginn Park.[9]


Drinan dropped down a division to sign for Waterford of the League of Ireland First Division in July 2017, making his competitive debut in senior football away to Cabinteely on 4 August 2017.[10] He scored the first goal of his senior career on 1 September 2017, scoring in a 1–1 draw with Shelbourne at the RSC.[11] Drinan finished up the season with 5 appearances and 1 goal to his name as Waterford won the League of Ireland First Division, resulting in his first taste of silverware at senior level.[12]

Ipswich Town

Drinan began training with EFL Championship side Ipswich Town in October 2017[13] and was announced as a new signing by manager Mick McCarthy on 4 January 2018, signing a three and a half year contract.[14][15][16] He was an unused substitute in 4 EFL Championship games and 1 FA Cup game for Ipswich but failed to make his first team debut as his side finished in 12th place.[17]

Loans away

He joined National League side Sutton United on 1 August 2018.[18] His first goal came on 20 October 2018 when he scored the winner against Wealdstone in the FA Cup.[19]

On 15 February 2019, it as announced that Drinan had signed for his old club Waterford on loan until the summer.[20] His loan was a huge success, scoring 7 goals in 18 league games.[17] His form had Waterford looking to extend the loan, but this proved to be unsuccessful, with Ipswich wanting the player to return.[21]

Drinan signed for Swedish Superettan side GAIS on 8 August 2019.[22][23] He made his debut away to Dalkurd FF on 18 August 2019.[24] He returned to Ipswich Town in November at the end of his loan which saw him make 9 appearances for GAIS.[25]

He signed for Scottish Championship side Ayr United on loan on 17 January 2020.[26] His debut came the next day in a 1–0 Scottish Cup win over Ross County to earn a 5th Round tie with Scottish Premiership side St Johnstone.[27]

Return to Ipswich

After 2 and a half years at Ipswich, Drinian made his full debut for the club on 5 September 2020 in a 3–0 win against Bristol Rovers in the EFL Cup, assisting first goal scored by teammate Freddie Sears.[28] He scored his first goal for the club on 30 January 2021, in a 1–1 draw with Crewe Alexandra.[29] On 10 May 2021, Ipswich announced that they had taken up the option to extend Drinan's contract by an additional year, keeping him under contract until 2022.[30]

International career

Drinan received his first call up to the Republic of Ireland U21 national team in February 2019 for a training camp at the FAI National Training Centre.[31] He made his debut for the under-21's in a UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier on 24 March 2019, featuring as a second-half substitute in a 3–0 victory over Luxembourg in Dublin.[32]

Career statistics

As of match played 24 April 2021[33]
Club Division Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Waterford League of Ireland First Division 2017 51100061
Ipswich Town Championship 2017–18 00000000
2018–19 00000000
League One 2019–20 0000000000
2020–21 22100101[lower-alpha 1]0241
Total 221001010241
Sutton United (loan) National League 2018–19 180311[lower-alpha 2]0221
Waterford (loan) League of Ireland Premier Division 2019 1870010197
GAIS (loan) Superettan 2019 801090
Ayr United (loan) Scottish Championship 2019–20 5121000072
Career total 76107220208712
  1. Appearance in EFL Trophy
  2. Appearance in Scottish Challenge Cup


  1. "Notification of shirt numbers: Ipswich Town" (PDF). English Football League. p. 36. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  2. "Extratime.ie – Aaron Drinan". www.extratime.ie.
  3. Dollery, Paul. "Coleman thriving just 12 months after Cork dream ended in disappointment". The42.
  4. "Cork City clinch SSE Airtricity U19 League title | Football Association of Ireland". www.fai.ie.
  5. "Extratime.ie – Live Updates – 2016 Domestic Friendlies – Cork City -v- Fulham". www.extratime.ie.
  6. "Under 19s win Enda McGuill Cup". 13 September 2016.
  7. Duffy, Emma. "Historic night as Cork City become first Irish club to win in Uefa Youth League". The42.
  8. "UEFA Youth League Report: Cork City U19 1 – 3 AS Roma". ExtraTime.ie.
  9. "Derry City vs. Cork City – 23 June 2017 – Soccerway". ie.soccerway.com.
  10. "Cabinteely vs. Waterford – 4 August 2017 – Soccerway". ie.soccerway.com.
  11. "Extratime.ie – Live Updates – 2017 League of Ireland First Division – Waterford -v- Shelbourne". www.extratime.ie.
  12. "Waterford FC Crowned First Division Champions". 16 September 2017.
  13. Dollery, Paul. "Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy to sign 19-year-old Cork-born striker". The42.
  14. "Aaron Drinan: Ipswich Town sign teenage Waterford striker". 4 January 2018 via www.bbc.com.
  15. Browne, P. J. "Mick McCarthy Really Likes The Look Of Young Cork Striker". Balls.ie.
  16. "Ipswich Town finally sign Aaron Drinan from Waterford FC". SportsJOE.ie.
  17. "Republic of Ireland – A. Drinan – Profile with news, career statistics and history – Soccerway". ie.soccerway.com.
  18. "Sutton confirm loan signing of Ipswich striker Drinan". Health Breaking News. 1 August 2018.
  19. "Drinan fires last-gasp winner for Sutton in FA Cup at Wealdstone". Your Local Guardian.
  20. "DUO SIGN: Waterford FC Sign Scott Twine & Aaron Drinan". 13 February 2019.
  21. Dollery, Paul. "Ireland U21 striker returns to England following loan spell at Waterford". The42.
  22. Dollery, Paul. "Ireland U21 striker completes loan move to Sweden". The42.
  23. O'Hehir, Paul (8 August 2019). "Irish striker Aaron Drinan seals move to Swedish side GAIS". irishmirror.
  24. "Dalkurd vs. GAIS – 18 August 2019 – Soccerway". ie.soccerway.com.
  25. Warren, Andy. "Striker Drinan has become a forgotten man at Ipswich Town… but could 2020 be the year he finally gets his chance?". East Anglian Daily Times.
  26. "Aaron Drinan signs – Ayr United Football Club".
  27. "Ayr United vs. Ross County – 18 January 2020 – Soccerway". ie.soccerway.com.
  28. Watson, Stuart. "Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich Town's 3–0 win against Bristol Rovers". East Anglian Daily Times.
  29. "Crewe Alexandra 1–1 Ipswich Town" via www.bbc.co.uk.
  30. "Options Taken Up on Five". Ipswich Town F.C. 10 May 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  31. "Drinan at Irish U21s Training Camp". TWTD. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  32. "Drinan and Crowe Win Caps". TWTD. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  33. "Republic of Ireland – A.Drinan". Ie.soccerway.com. Retrieved 16 October 2019.