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Glenavon full-back Paddy Burns joins University of Notre Dame on soccer scholarship

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Paddy Burns made 16 Premiership appearances for Glenavon

Paddy Burns made 16 Premiership appearances for Glenavon

©INPHO/Freddie Parkinson

Paddy Burns celebrates leading Northern Ireland to Centenary Shield success last year.

Paddy Burns celebrates leading Northern Ireland to Centenary Shield success last year.

Paddy Burns made 16 Premiership appearances for Glenavon

Glenavon full-back Paddy Burns will soon be off to America to embark on a soccer scholarship at The University of Notre Dame.

The Northern Ireland Under 18 skipper has earned a move to the Indiana campus as one of six new recruits to the side that won the national championships back in 2013.

Younger brother of Hearts left-back Bobby, Paddy Burns has made 16 Danske Bank Premiership appearances for the Lurgan Blues and spent time at Knockbreda on loan in the Championship last season.

At international level, he enjoyed his crowning moment last year by captaining Northern Ireland U18s to victory in the prestigious Centenary Shield competition.

He also helped St Malachy's College to five Belfast Cup triumphs and two Northern Ireland Cup titles during his time at the school.

The University of Notre Dame was founded by a group of Holy Cross brothers from France and Ireland and enjoys its links to the Emerald Isle even now, with its sports teams nicknamed the 'Fighting Irish'.

"Notre Dame is the perfect combination of a really great academic school and a very strong soccer program," said Burns.

"Additionally, as a proud Irish Catholic, the mission of Notre Dame appeals greatly to my own personal values – it really is the perfect fit for me."

The Notre Dame men's soccer team's head coach Chad Riley added: "The key for (the new recruits) now is to work hard to turn their potential into reality and to put all of their efforts into becoming their best. We are looking forward to welcoming them officially into our team this fall and can't wait to get started working with them on the field."

Belfast Telegraph