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Irish Cup winner Patrick McClean excited by Glentoran future after tough spell with Derry

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Patrick McClean

Patrick McClean

Patrick McClean

Irish Cup Final hero Patrick McClean has revealed that he was at an all-time low before joining Glentoran.

How football can change matters, because on Friday night the central defender was on a total high after the Glens defeated Ballymena United at Windsor Park and he claimed the official man of the match award.

McClean signed for Glentoran in July last year following a tough time at his hometown club Derry City, where a long-term injury hit him hard. When he recovered, he was still on the sidelines and even questioned his future in the sport.

The east Belfast outfit provided the answers he needed and, since signing for The Oval outfit, he has excelled, becoming a cult hero with the fans.

"I had a rough time at Derry City and I had to leave," says the defender. "Thankfully, the Glens took me and hopefully I've been able to repay them with a good season and winning a trophy.

"It has reignited my career coming here, big time. I was at an all-time low. I'd a few personal issues and the Glens brought me in and put their arm around me and picked me up. I couldn't be happier than I am at the minute.

"I've felt there was something happening at Glentoran from the day I came in. There are a lot of new players but everyone has pulled in the same direction and the only way is up if we keep going the way we are going and hopefully we can have a good European run."

McClean admits that, with time running out in extra-time, he thought a penalty shoot-out was on the cards until Robbie McDaid netted the winner.

"I did think it was going to penalties," adds the 23-year-old, whose Republic of Ireland ace brother, James, was watching the game in France.

"I was starting to question if I was hitting one but thankfully it didn't happen because Robbie popped up with a goal.

"Robbie has been unbelievable for us this season, not just in this Cup run. You can always count on him to get a goal."

Belfast Telegraph