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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 18 October, 2018

Northern Ireland's goal hero was once a target for Mickey Harte's Tyrone

Niall McGinn played GAA with the Donaghmore club in Tyrone.

Northern Ireland's Neil McGinn and Tyrone manager Mickey Harte.
Northern Ireland's Neil McGinn and Tyrone manager Mickey Harte.

NORTHERN IRELAND CLAIMED a famous 2-0 win yesterday against Ukraine to ignite their Euro 2016 campaign.

Gareth McAuley’s header was the breakthrough goal in the second-half for Michael O’Neill’s side before Niall McGinn struck the second goal to clinch success in injury-time.

McGinn may now be focusing on next Tuesday’s tie against Germany but as Tyrone All-Ireland winner Enda McGinley outlined last night, McGinn was once a target for Mickey Harte, who wanted to recruit him for the Red Hands squad.

“At the time Mickey would have been looking to (bring) him into the Tyrone squad but Niall was resisting the lure of training in the lovely paces we have,” McGinley told Off The Ball on Newstalk.

“So Niall played for Donaghmore, which would be a club fairly local to myself, and was an excellent talent.

“That was when he was very young, right at the start of his career.

“He was known to be an excellent talent and Mickey was very keen to get him into Tyrone at that stage.

Niall McGinn Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn at a press conference today Source: Presseye/William Cherry/INPHO

“It would have been coming towards the end of our All-Ireland winning spell. And so he got away but he certainly has done well for himself and it was brilliant to see him scoring this evening.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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