Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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McLaughlin is just two steps from superb Wembley treble

 

By Graham Luney

Former Northern Ireland under-21 international Paddy McLaughlin is setting his sights on a very special Wembley hat-trick.

The midfielder, from Larne, is part of the Gateshead team gunning for a place in the final of the FA Trophy at the famous London venue.

Leyton Orient are up next for the National League side in the quarter-finals tomorrow and McLaughlin, who now lives in Darlington, is hoping to create more Wembley memories.

The 27-year-old was in the York City team that defeated Newport County in the 2012 FA Trophy Final, and just over a week later he was a substitute in a 2-1 victory over Luton Town in the Conference Premier play-off final, helping the club win promotion to League Two.

Now he's hoping to grace the Wembley turf for a third time, saying: "It's a brilliant experience. You think it's a big stadium when you see it on the television but when you're there it's a special feeling and an unforgettable experience.

"This is my third season at Gateshead and I'm featuring a lot in midfield. We aren't challenging for the play-offs but there's still an opportunity to win the FA Trophy. Leyton Orient at their place will be tough but the boys are confident.

"I left Larne Youth as a youngster and moved across to Newcastle United. After four years there I had two in York and two at Grimsby and thanks to a bit of luck I've managed to keep a professional career going."

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