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Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern relishing his new challenge after completing Norwich deal

By Steven Beacom

Published 20/07/2016

Net gains: Michael McGovern impressed at the Euro finals
Net gains: Michael McGovern impressed at the Euro finals

Nothern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern insists he will relish the challenge of becoming No.1 at Norwich City this season after joining the Canaries on a three-year deal.

The 32-year-old from Fermanagh will fight it out with England international John Ruddy and Declan Rudd to be first choice at Carrow Road.

McGovern arrives at Norwich on a free transfer after leaving Scottish Premiership side Hamilton in the summer when his contract expired.

He has teamed up once again with ex-Hamilton boss Alex Neil, who wants McGovern to help him take the club back to the Premier League after their relegation to the Championship last season.

McGovern, who had been linked with several other clubs including top-flight sides Southampton, Burnley and Middlesbrough, said after the deal was completed: "Having worked with the gaffer before, that was a big pull for me.

"I had some interest from elsewhere but I'm really looking forward to working with him again now at Norwich.

"I'm aiming to get into the team but I know I'm up against some top class goalkeepers. It's going to be intense competition, although it's a challenge I'll relish."

McGovern added that he intends to use his experience to help youngsters at the club.

"I want to play but also I want to help the younger players coming through as much as I can," he said. "That's something I've looked to do at my previous clubs, and I'll look to lend my experience wherever possible."

McGovern joins up with his new team-mates on the back of a brilliant Euro 2016 for Northern Ireland. He played well in his opening game in the finals against Poland and then kept a clean sheet in the 2-0 victory over Ukraine in Lyon.

That was followed by the best goalkeeping display of the tournament when McGovern frustrated World champions Germany in a 1-0 defeat, which helped take the side into the last 16.

Norwich boss Neil was delighted to sign one of the heroes of Northern Ireland's summer.

"Michael is a player that I've worked with before, so I know all about his qualities and his character," said Neil. "He's a fantastic professional, and he showed he's capable of playing at the top level with his performances for Northern Ireland at the Euros."

Belfast Telegraph

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