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Dublin: 1 °C Monday 18 November, 2019

In Pics: GAA stars with soccer credentials

Former Ipswich Town goalkeeper Shane Supple lined out for Dublin last Wednesday night. But he’s not the only current inter-county player with a soccer background.

FORMER IPSWICH TOWN goalkeeper Shane Supple was the man between the posts for Dublin last Wednesday night.

The St Brigid’s club man was in goal as Dublin defeated DCU in their O’Byrne Cup clash in Parnell Park.

Supple was involved briefly with the Dublin senior setup last year and is now back trying to forge a Gaelic football career.

He’s not the only GAA star to have dabbled in soccer though.

Several other current inter-county players have notable soccer experience as well.

In Pics: GAA stars with soccer credentials
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  • Cathal Naughton (Cork)

    Naughton got trials as a youngster with Leeds, Man City and Sunderland before signing for Nottingham Forest when he was 16. He returned after a year to Ireland due to homesickness. The Cork hurler faced Frazier Campbell, Adam Johnson and Lee Cattermole in games during his time in England while he also played for Irish soccer underage teams.
  • Ciaran Lyng (Wexford)

    Lyng impressed as an underage soccer player and made Irish schoolboy teams. He signed for Preston North End where he spent three years and then had an eight-month loan spell with Shrewsbury Town. Lyng then returned to Ireland and has since starred for Wexford.
  • Emlyn Mulligan (Leitrim)

    Mulligan was a promising soccer player with Sligo Rovers as a teenager and indeed broke into the first team at the same time as Everton player Seamus Coleman. But he soon focused on his Gaelic football career with Leitrim.
  • Eoin Quigley (Wexford)

    Quigley is now an established Wexford hurler and last year won a Cork senior hurling medal with his club Sarsfields. But back in 2000 as a teenager Quigley lined out for Dublin soccer outfit Bohemians and was part of the squad that famously defeated Aberdeen in the UEFA Cup.
  • Kevin Nolan (Dublin)

    Nolan was one of the heroes of Dublin's All-Ireland senior title win in 2011 but his career path could have been different. As a teenager he had trials with Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City, who were close to signing him, before he ultimately chose a Gaelic football career.
  • Lee Chin (Wexford)

    Chin showcased his GAA talents in 2012 with the Wexford senior footballers and the county's U21 hurlers. But he also has a soccer string to his bow and after impressing at local level in Wexford, he was signed Waterford United for a brief spell for the 2011 First Division season.
  • Liam Watson (Antrim)

    Watson starred last St Patrick's Day in the Loughgiel Shamrocks team that lifted the All-Ireland club hurling crown. But over the previous year he had also featured in the Irish League for both Donegal Celtic and Ballymena United.
  • Michael Boyle (Donegal)

    Donegal's substitute goalkeeper and DCU Sigerson Cup winner has previously had soccer experience between the posts for Finn Harps. He first lined out for the Ballybofey-based club's first team as a 17 year-old in 2005 and again in 2006.
  • Michael Shields (Cork)

    Shields player at underage level for Cork schoolboys league teams that featured current Aston Villa player Stephen Ireland. He also had U15 Irish schoolboys trials alongside Irish international defender Paul McShane before GAA became the Cork player's focus at minor level.
  • Paul Cahillane (left) (Laois)

    Cahillane spent three years as a youth with Glasgow Celtic after previously starring for Dublin nursery Belvedere FC. After a brief stint with UCD, he returned to GAA with his club Portlaoise in 2008 and progressed to the county stage from there. Currently is understood to be taking an inter-county break to go traveling.
  • Ryan McCluskey (Fermanagh)

    McCluskey lined out for Fermanagh in the 2004 All-Ireland semi-final and the 2008 Ulster final. But he then had plenty soccer commitments as he was involved with Dungannon Swifts in the Irish League. Last year he returned to the Fermanagh camp and was named captain.
  • Shane McCabe (left) (Fermanagh)

    McCabe was part of the Fermanagh squad that reached the 2008 Ulster final and returned to the panel last season. In between he was focused on soccer and had stints with Irish League sides Glentoran and Portadown.
  • Shane Supple (Dublin)

    In 2005 Supple won an FA Youth Cup medal with Ipswich Town in a final against a Southampton team that included Theo Walcott. Supple went on to play first team for Ipswich while also having loan spells with Falkirk and Oldham Athletic. In 2009 he returned to Dublin.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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