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Stuart Dallas deserves his place in the Premier League after phenomenal rise, says Ian Baraclough



Going up: Stuart Dallas enjoys Leeds United’s promotion

Going up: Stuart Dallas enjoys Leeds United’s promotion


Going up: Stuart Dallas enjoys Leeds United’s promotion

Ian Baraclough has paid tribute to the attitude and ability of Northern Ireland's latest Premier League star Stuart Dallas.

The Northern Ireland boss is overjoyed that the country has another player in the top flight of English football after Dallas played an influential role in helping Leeds United land promotion from the Championship.

Baraclough wants his players to be shining at the highest level possible for their clubs and is confident Dallas, who joined Leeds in 2015 after impressive spells at Coagh United, Crusaders and Brentford, can be a hit next season.

"It is brilliant for Northern Ireland to have another player in the Premier League and what is telling is the work Stuart has put in throughout his career from a young player moving from Coagh United to Crusaders and on to English football," said Baraclough.

"You see where he has gone from and now ended up at the age of 29. That is pure hard work and desire and a good bit of talent as well.

"It's a phenomenal story for Stuart to make it to the Premier League for Leeds and I am delighted for him and I believe he can keep it going."

Baraclough added that he agreed with the assessment of the nation's record goalscorer David Healy in last week's Belfast Telegraph when the Linfield manager stated that Dallas was an inspiration to all Irish League footballers with hopes and dreams of making it across the water.

"I saw what David Healy said about Stuart, stating that he was an inspiration to young footballers in Northern Ireland, and he got it spot on," said Baraclough.

"What Stuart has done should give every young player in the Northern Ireland set-up inspiration, especially if you are playing your club football in Northern Ireland.

"I have been telling them in my time as manager of the Under-21s to get their head down, play senior games in a first team and it will stand to you and not give up as a young player if the move doesn't come early in your career because you still have a lot of growing up to do and a lot of maturing and you will be better off for it."

Dallas' old club, Brentford, will hope to bid a winning farewell to Griffin Park tonight.

Swansea travel to London with a slender advantage following a 1-0 win in Sunday's Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final first leg and if there was not enough riding on the tie already, the Bees will also bid farewell to their home of the last 116 years.

Belfast Telegraph