Belfast Telegraph

Josh Magennis honoured to join list of Northern Ireland scorers against Germany

By Paul Ferguson

Goal-scoring hero Josh Magennis was beaming with pride yesterday as he touched down in Oslo with his international team-mates and insisted he was "honoured" to join a select band of Northern Ireland players to score against footballing superpower Germany.

Magennis is in the Norwegian capital for Northern Ireland's final match of a hugely successful World Cup qualifying campaign tomorrow night at the Ullevaal Stadion.

Michael O'Neill's men, who are already assured of second place in Group C, can secure a position in next month's play-offs with a draw against Norway, while victory would give them a great chance of being seeded in the two-legged games.

Bangor-born striker Magennis has turned his immediate attention to recovery and preparation for the Norway match, but he still took incredible satisfaction knowing he has joined just nine other Northern Ireland internationals to score against the country called Die Mannschaft.

Northern Ireland greats Peter McParland, Billy McAdams, Jimmy McIlroy, Ian Stewart, Norman Whiteside, Michael Hughes, George O'Boyle, Gerry Taggart and David Healy were all on target against the Germans and previously West Germany.

McParland scored twice against West Germany in the 1958 World Cup finals, Bolton's McAdams netted an incredible hat trick in 1960, Stewart and Whiteside both struck winning goals in the 1984 European Championships while former Manchester City ace Hughes found the net on two separate occasions against Germany.

"It really is an honour and privilege to join the great list of Northern Ireland players who have scored against Germany over the years. There are some big Northern Ireland legends there," conceded 27 year-old Magennis, who plays his club football in England's League One with Charlton Athletic.

"To score against the Germans was amazing for me. They are the greatest team in the world, but I felt it was no more than we deserved as a team," said the man who won his 32nd international cap for Northern Ireland against Joachim Low's side.

"I've always said I'm extremely proud and honoured to play for my country. It really is a privilege and I just want to make the biggest contribution I can, whether it is through goals or being a provider for my team-mates."

Magennis is in fine form for both club and country this season, having scored seven in his last 11 appearances.

He has also netted three times in this World Cup qualifying campaign.

"If I wasn't playing for Northern Ireland I would be cheering them on. I just want Northern Ireland to win and hopefully if selected I can play my part for the team," added Magennis.

"The manager, Michael O'Neill, has given me an opportunity, shown great belief in me and I like to think every time I go out onto the pitch I repay him with my performances.

"Now we want to finish this World Cup qualifying campaign in style, and we can do that with a win in Norway."

At the Euro 2016 finals Magennis was regarded as a Northern Ireland squad player, but during these World Cup qualifiers he has cemented his place in O'Neill's team - even being picked ahead of fan favourite Kyle Lafferty.

Northern Ireland star Gareth McAuley has been very impressed with Magennis' transformation during this campaign.

"I'm delighted for him," said the 37-year-old. "Josh is a fun guy and he's the life and soul and he's always happy and bubbly. Now that he's nailed down his position as a centre-forward, he's young enough and has the athleticism that will help him push on."

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