Next Game

Hungary v N Ireland

Sunday, 07 September 2014, 17:00

Euro 2016 Qualifying Group F

Last Game

Chile 2 - 0 N Ireland

Thursday, 05 June 2014, 01:00

International Match

Perseverance pays off for McGurk

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

Last Updated: 05/02/13 at 08:04

Adam McGurk: Back in the game with Tranmere

Adam McGurk: Back in the game with Tranmere

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

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 Wednesday'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."

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

K FIFA we're done, you can ban us now

jimmyjazz
Barcelona transfer ban upheld

A

h Daniel. I could spend hours on this subject putting the world to rights. You can even take a step back and ask why football fans (and society in general) have this need to know that something will happen before it actually does. There are times this important, when it comes to things like war, food production and natural disasters. A man you've never met changing his job? Not so much.

ajsr1982
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

G

reat article. Hits the nail on the head. Encapsulates why I don't read tabloid newspapers anymore. The only thing worse is the 'told you so first' headline when they get lucky.

ianonabeach
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

Footer 365

Transfer News: Bruce confirms Hull are eying Vincent Aboubakar

Hull City manager Steve Bruce has revealed the club are considering a move for Lorient forward Vincent Aboubakar.

Premier League: Edin Dzeko signs new four-year Manchester City deal

Edin Dzeko has signed a new four-year contract with Manchester City.

Champions League: Callum McGregor on target in Celtic draw

Celtic claimed a 1-1 draw with Maribor in Slovenia in the first leg of their Champions League play-off clash.

Mail Box

So Long And Good Luck To Nani

A Mailbox that offers best wishes to a departing hero, defends Olivier Giroud, tells us to steady on over Calum Chambers and makes some amusing predictions...

Mailbox: Feeling Sorry For Poor TC23

If there's one loser in all the machinations at Man United, it's poor TC23. We have mercifully few mails on United, but lots on Arsenal and in particular Olivier Giroud...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property