Going North

The league game between Derry City and Shelbourne, which was scheduled for the Brandywell last Saturday, was called off due to international player call-ups.

Derry’s request for a postponement was granted after Michael Duffy received a call up to the Northern Ireland U21s and Barry McNamee was drafted into Noel King’s Under-21 side to play Germany at the Showgrounds.

Neither player made it onto the pitch on Monday night as Republic of Ireland suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat and the northerners lost 1-0 to Belgium in Louvain.

11 League of Ireland men have played for Northern Ireland at Under-21 level with seven of those representing Derry, including Shane McEleney who scored in a friendly with Hungary last year.

During his spells with Sligo Rovers and Bohemians, Chris Turner scored in three European qualifiers in 2007 against Moldova, Israel and Luxembourg while Hugh Davey got a goal against Armenia in a 2003 qualifying tie.

The UCD midfielder also featured in the Under-23 team in their 0-0 draw with Serbia and Montenegro at Mourneview Park the following year. Since the League of Ireland was founded in 1921 only three players have been capped by the Northern Ireland senior international team.

Bohemians defender Johnny McMahon was selected in a surprise 2-1 win over Scotland at Celtic Park in the 1932/33 British Home Championship. In 1989, Derry ‘Treble’ winner Liam Coyle earned a cap in an end-of-season friendly with Chile.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Fay, the 21-year old striker was a second half substitute in the 1-0 defeat at Windsor Park a game that current Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill also played in.

Derry winger Niall McGinn came off the bench to make his debut in a 2-0 friendly defeat to Hungary in Belfast in November 2008 but unlike McMahon and Coyle it was just the beginning of his international career.

Having spent three-and-a-half years with Celtic, McGinn now plays for Aberdeen and he has scored one goal in 24 appearances for his country.

Senior Team
Johnny McMahon – Bohemians – v Scotland on 16 September 1933
Liam Coyle – Derry – v Chile on 26 May 1989
Niall McGinn – Derry – v Hungary on 19 November 2008

Hugh Davey – UCD – v Serbia & Montenegro on 27 April 2004

Aaron Callaghan – Derry 2008 (2 caps)
Hugh Davey – UCD 2004 (3 caps, 1 goal)
Scott Gibb – Drogheda 2009 (1 cap)
Ruaidhri Higgins – Derry 2005 (1 cap)
Darren Kelly – Derry 2000-2001 (11 caps)
Mark McChrystal – Derry 2004-2006 (9 caps)
James McClean – Derry 2008-2009 (7 caps)
Paddy McCourt – Derry 2005 (1 cap)
Shane McEleney – Derry 2012 (2 caps, 1 goal)
Darren Meenan – Finn Harps 2006 (1 cap) and Monaghan 2007-2008 (2 caps)
Chris Turner – Sligo 2006-2007 (5 caps, 1 goal) and Bohemians 2007-2008 (7 caps, 2 goals)

Liam Coyle pictured during his testimonial in 1990


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