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Hughes hails Craigan

Northern Ireland and Motherwell defender Stephen Craigan has been lauded as a perfect role model.

Craigan, 33, will captain his country when he wins his 50th cap in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia. He takes the armband from regular skipper Aaron Hughes, who has nothing but admiration for his international team-mate.

"It is great to see him reach his 50th because he has been one of our more solid performers over the last five years, " said the Fulham defender.

"It is fully deserved because he has always stepped up to the plate every time he has been asked to.

"He has given 100% and never let anyone down. It is players like that who younger players can look up to and aspire to be like.

"It is not about what they do on the pitch, it is how they conduct themselves off it as well.

"He will be the first one to say that the most important thing is for the team to get points on the board early and we will all be aiming to do that."

Craigan won his first cap in 2003 when Northern Ireland lost 1-0 to Finland in a friendly at Windsor Park.

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