Perseverance pays off for McGurk

Adam McGurk could win a first senior cap for Northern Ireland on Wednesday, three years after he quit football.

Last Updated: 05/02/13 at 07:34 Post Comment

Adam McGurk: Back in the game with Tranmere

Adam McGurk: Back in the game with Tranmere

Three years after he quit football in despair, Adam McGurk is poised to win a first senior cap for Northern Ireland in Wednesday's friendly against Malta.

The 24-year-old was a promising forward at Aston Villa before a serious knee injury halted his progress and he was released early in 2010.

McGurk was so disillusioned with the game that he did not seek another club but, pushed on by his family, he played a few times for non-league Hednesford Town and a successful trial with Tranmere that summer offered him a way back in.

He has not looked back and, with striker Kyle Lafferty suspended for the next World Cup qualifying game against Russia next month, McGurk is hoping to play his way into contention.

He said: "I didn't really know what to do, I was in a bad place at that time. I eventually got a chance at Tranmere and I took it. This is where I am now so I'm just grateful.

"It was my family who got me back into it. I didn't really have any interest myself being honest, but I didn't want to disappoint them.

"They went through as much as me and it was just to try to please them was the only reason I went back in. Luckily it's paid off."

With Tranmere pushing for promotion to the Championship, McGurk's form caught the eye of Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill - although the forward needed some convincing the interest was genuine.

McGurk said: "I was a bit shocked when I got the call-up, I had to phone the club to make sure it wasn't someone trying to take the mick. It's a huge honour and hopefully I can get some game time.

"I didn't know Michael was at the games he came to watch but luckily I must have done okay. He phoned me after the squad was announced to say he was impressed and he was looking forward to seeing me.

"I know quite a few of the boys from coming through the ranks and at club level, so it wasn't too bad settling in quickly. Everyone's very welcoming and it's great."

McGurk is one of a number of young faces in the squad for tomorrow's friendly, where O'Neill will hope to secure a first win at the eighth attempt.

Northern Ireland have drawn four of their seven previous games, including in an away qualifier against Portugal, and long-serving defender Aaron Hughes is hoping Wednesday will be the day.

He said: "It would be nice to get rid of it so we don't have to talk about it.

"But there's deeper meaning to it. We're missing Kyle in the next games and (Chris) Baird so we have to make a couple of changes.

"The thing we're looking for most is a performance, working on all the things that we hope can get us something from the next round of qualifiers. If we can get a win on top of that then very nice."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

Liverpool's Jordon Ibe back running after untimely knee setback

Jordon Ibe remains hopeful of a return to the Liverpool first team this season after returning to light training at Melwood this week.

'Fine' Akinfeev grateful for support

Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev has thanked well-wishers for their support after being struck by a lit flare thrown from the crowd against Montenegro on Friday night.

QPR's Charlie Austin was not shocked that he failed to make the latest England squad

QPR striker Charlie Austin says his non-selection for the England squad did not come as a surprise.

Mail Box

Where's The Love For Walcott?

Theo Walcott is wanted by neither Arsenal or Liverpool fans in the afternoon Mailbox. Also, some good points on the FA skewed priorities, and glorious geekery...

Ripe Robin Still Has A Role To Play...

There is some support for the aging Robin van Perise in a frankly threadbare Mailbox. Also, more debate over homegrown players, with a suggestion of an import tax...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company