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All that I've achieved is down to my role model dad, says Northern Ireland U21 boss Ian Baraclough

 

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Big goal: Ian Baraclough wants to manage at the highest level

Big goal: Ian Baraclough wants to manage at the highest level

Tommy Wright

Tommy Wright

Getty Images

Big goal: Ian Baraclough wants to manage at the highest level

Northern Ireland Under-21 manager Ian Baraclough has revealed that his dad is the inspiration for all that he has achieved in football.

Baraclough is on the shortlist to become the new Northern Ireland boss at senior level following Michael O'Neill's departure last month and has stated it would be an honour if he was asked to fulfil the vacant post.

If he beats the likes of Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson and St Johnstone's Tommy Wright to the job, it will be the highlight of a career that has seen the Leicester native play over 600 times in the English game with several clubs including QPR, Notts County and Scunthorpe and have managing roles at Scunthorpe, Sligo Rovers and Motherwell prior to his current role where he has proved a success.

The 49-year-old, the youngest of five brothers, says he will forever be grateful to his "role model" dad for everything he did for him growing up.

"I lost my mum at an early age and my dad had to bring five boys up. The very fact of having kids myself, that task that my dad did was an unbelievable role," said Baraclough.

"He has always been a role model for me and someone that I still look up to today.

"If it wasn't for him I don't think I would have been anywhere near good enough or able to compete at the level I have been lucky enough to do so.

"With my dad and four brothers it was an enjoyable upbringing but certainly one where we had to work hard."

Speaking to the Talkin Fitbaw podcast, Baraclough talked about his career as a player and also his feelings that international football here is in a good place.

He added: "I think the Association is still on the up.

"It certainly wasn't like that before Michael O'Neill took over.

"The IFA put trust in Michael to put processes in place. Everyone at the IFA has to be applauded for that and most of all Michael who was the figurehead.

"I think everyone has worked really hard to put processes in place and hopefully we can maintain that."

Belfast Telegraph