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New NI star Smyth: I am aiming right for the top

Goal hero Paul sets high targets for club and country

By Graham Luney

Northern Ireland's new wonder boy Paul Smyth has told supporters he is only warming up and the best is yet to come from him.

The former Linfield hero celebrated his Northern Ireland debut in sensational style by smashing home an 86th minute winner in the 2-1 friendly victory over South Korea.

After moving from the Blues to Queens Park Rangers last summer, the 20-year-old scored on his debut for the club and he repeated the feat just four minutes after replacing Jordan Jones on Saturday.

He is now vowing to create more magic for club and country.

"I want to be as big as I can be in the game," he said.

"It's every boys' dream to play professional football and I've always had a target to push on and reach even the Premier League.

"I'd love to go on the summer tour with Northern Ireland to central America and will keep working hard to become an even better player."

Linfield will not receive any financial reward from Smyth's dream debut as the club settled for a six-figure transfer fee with QPR - however the deal included a sell-on clause.

The Belfast man's current contract with the London side runs until August next year.

Despite talk of interest from the Republic of Ireland, Smyth confirmed his commitment to Northern Ireland, saying: "I've been brought up through Northern Ireland youth teams and I always felt if the chance came at senior level, I wanted to take it. I'm happy playing for Northern Ireland."

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