Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Steven Beacom: McGinn can take Gillespie’s mantle

Much as it pains me to say it, if we didn’t know it already, Keith Gillespie’s international career is over.

That’s a pity because Gillespie has given such magnificent service for his country.

I know even when coming home to play for Glentoran he still harboured hopes of winning more caps.

But Niall McGinn’s confident display against Serbia has finally put paid to that.

It’s amazing and refreshing to think that just a few years ago McGinn was playing for Dungannon Swifts.

Right now he is the one player who causes a surge of excitement amongst the Windsor Park crowd every time he gets the ball at his feet.

Just like Keith did so many, many times.

If Niall goes on to have half the international career Keith had, the Celtic star will be a crucial player for Northern Ireland for many years to come.

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