Andrew Little (footballer)

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Andrew Little
Personal information
Full name Andrew Little
Date of birth (1989-05-12) 12 May 1989 (age 25)[1]
Place of birth Enniskillen, Northern Ireland
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Preston North End
Number 18
Youth career
Ballinamallard United
2006–2007 Rangers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2014 Rangers 66 (34)
2011 Port Vale (loan) 7 (0)
2014– Preston North End 4 (1)
National team
Northern Ireland U17 7 (2)
2006–2008 Northern Ireland U19 11 (5)
2008–2010 Northern Ireland U21 6 (3)
2009 Northern Ireland B 1 (0)
2009– Northern Ireland 8 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:03, 1 September 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 30 October 2012

Andrew "Andy" Little (born 12 May 1989) is a Northern Irish professional footballer who plays for Preston North End. He is also a Northern Ireland international.

A versatile player, he can play in any outfield position, though prefers a more attacking role. He left Ballinamallard United for Rangers in 2006, where he turned professional the following year. He made a number of first team appearances in 2009–10, but was otherwise limited to youth and reserve team football until he won a loan move to Port Vale in August 2011. He returned to Rangers, and was a key player as they won the Scottish Third Division title in 2012–13 and the League One title in 2013–14. He signed with Preston North End in June 2014.

Having represented Northern Ireland at under-19 and under-21 levels, as well as making one appearance for the "B" team, he won his first senior cap in March 2009.

Club career[edit]

Rangers[edit]

A former Ballinamallard United player, he moved from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 2006 to join the Rangers Academy. He scored for the "Gers" in the club's Scottish Youth Cup final victory over Old Firm rival's Celtic at Hampden Park in 2008.[2] That season he also helped the club to top the Scottish Premier under-19 League.

He made his senior debut as a substitute for Kris Boyd in the 3–0 win over St. Mirren in the Scottish Cup semi-finals on 25 April 2009.[3] The next month he was selected as a member of Rangers' HKFC International Soccer Sevens side; he helped the side to reach the final of the tournament, where they then lost out to Celtic.

On 4 October 2009, Little was given his first Rangers start against Celtic at right back, but was substituted eleven minutes in after injuring his hamstring in the opening minute of the match.[4] He scored his first goal for the club on 23 January 2010, in a league game against Hearts which finished 1–1.[5] Overall he made ten appearances in the 2009–10 season.

He scored his second goal for the club on 27 October 2010, in a League Cup game against Kilmarnock.[6] The goal was later a candidate for the club's goal of the season award.[7] However he then missed much of the rest of the season with a hip injury that eventually required surgery to correct.[8] Upon his recovery, Little signed a one-year contract extension in July 2011.[9]

Looking for first team football, Little went on loan at Port Vale on 31 August 2011. His loan deal was due to last until 1 January 2012,[10] however he returned on 24 October 2011 after he suffered knee ligament damage.[11] He made two starts and five substitute appearances for the League Two club, with his contribution at Vale Park also limited by call-ups to the Northern Ireland squad. Little played his first SPL game of the 2011–12 season on 26 February, and justified Ally McCoist's selection at the Caledonian Stadium by scoring in a 4–1 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.[12] On 26 March, he came off the bench to score with his first touch in a 3–2 home win over Celtic.[13] On 21 April, he scored a brace in a 3–0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle.[14]

He was able to leave Rangers following the club's financial meltdown and expulsion from the SPL, but instead signed a new contract with the club in July 2012, having decided to stay and try to help Rangers to win promotion out of the Third Division.[15] He agreed to sign the two year contract (with the option for a third year) after McCoist reassured him that he had big part to play in the club's promotion campaign, and also after Michael O'Neill reassured him that playing in the Third Division would not damage his international prospects.[16] He scored four minutes into the 2012–13 season, in a Scottish Challenge Cup victory over Brechin City.[17][18]

He scored his first hat-trick at Ibrox on 18 August, in a 5–1 win over East Stirlingshire.[19] With five goals to his name, Little won the SFL Ginger Boot (top goalscorer award) for August 2012.[20] Rangers secured the Third Division title by a comfortable margin, and were confirmed as champions on 30 March.[21] Little was voted onto the PFA Scotland Team of the Year for the Third Division, alongside team-mates Lee McCulloch, Lee Wallace, and David Templeton.[22]

Rangers won the League One title in 2013–14, though Little missed much of the campaign after breaking his cheekbone and jaw in a collision with Dunfermline Athletic full-back Alex Whittle in November.[23] He was released from Rangers in May 2014 after being informed that he was no longer a part of manager Ally McCoist's first team plans.[24]

Preston North End[edit]

Little signed a two-year contract with League One side Preston North End in June 2014; "Lilywhites" manager Simon Grayson stated that "I am delighted that he has chosen us over quite a few other teams".[25]

International career[edit]

Little won eleven caps for the Northern Ireland under-19s, scoring four goals, including one in the 2008 Milk Cup final victory over Chile. He then moved up to the under-21 side, where he made four appearances, scoring against Scotland and twice against San Marino.[26] He won a cap for the "B team" against Scotland in 2009.

Little made his debut for the senior team on 28 March 2009 in a 2010 World Cup qualifier against Poland; he replaced David Healy in the 90th minute of the match and Northern Ireland went on to win 3–2.[27] He picked up further caps in friendlies against Italy, Albania, Turkey, and Chile.[28]

Style of play[edit]

A utility player, he can play anywhere in defence and midfield, and can also be used as a striker.[28]

"I don't really have a set position, I have played upfront, right-back and in midfield, but I feel I am more comfortable the further up the pitch I play."

—Little commenting on his preferred playing position in August 2011.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Little's older brother Graham is a presenter for Sky Sports.[30]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 26 September 2014.
Season Club Division League Scottish Cup League Cup Other[31] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2008–09[32] Rangers SPL 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2009–10[33] 6 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 10 1
2010–11[34] 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 2 1
2011–12[35] 10 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 11 5
2011–12[35] Port Vale (loan) League Two 7 0 0 0 7 0
2012–13[36] Rangers Third Division 28 22 3 0 3 1 2 2 36 25
2013–14[37][38] League One 21 5 3 0 1 0 4 1 29 6
Total 65 33 11 0 7 2 6 3 89 38
2014–15[39] Preston North End League One 5 1 0 0 2 1 0 0 7 2
Total 5 1 0 0 2 1 0 0 7 2
Career Total 77 34 11 0 8 3 6 3 103 40

Honours[edit]

Individual
with Northern Ireland under-19s
with Rangers

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile of Andrew Little". irishfa.com. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Sullivan, Stephen (24 April 2008). "Celtic U19 1 – 3 Rangers U19". The Herald. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Rangers 3–0 St Mirren". BBC Sport. 25 April 2009. 
  4. ^ "Rangers 2–1 Celtic". BBC Sport. 4 October 2009. 
  5. ^ "Rangers 1–1 Hearts". BBC Sport. 23 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "Kilmarnock 0–2 Rangers". BBC Sport. 27 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Pick Your Goal Of The Season". rangers.co.uk. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "Little By Little". rangers.co.uk. 29 April 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "Northern Ireland's Andrew Little in new Rangers deal". BBC Sport. 2 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Port Vale take Rangers' Andy Little on loan". BBC Sport. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "Injured Andrew Little returns to Rangers from Port Vale". BBC Sport. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Inverness CT 1 Rangers 4: Gers get first win since administration to lift the mood". Daily Mail. 26 February 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  13. ^ "Rangers 3–2 Celtic". BBC Sport. 25 March 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "Hearts 0 Rangers 3: Playing out the season is Little comfort for Gers". Daily Mail. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  15. ^ "Little signs new deal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  16. ^ "Together We Are Stronger". rangers.co.uk. 28 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  17. ^ Lindsay, Clive (29 July 2012). "Ramsdens Cup: Brechin City 1–2 Rangers". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "Brechin 1 Rangers 2: Late McCulloch strike earns McCoist's men historic first win". Daily Mail. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  19. ^ Clark, Gill (18 August 2012). "Rangers 5–1 East Stirling: Little has big impact as hat-trick ensures comfortable victory for Gers". goal.com. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  20. ^ Dickson, Andrew (24 September 2012). "Little win ginger boots". Rangers F.C. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  21. ^ "Rangers celebrate Scottish Third Division title win". BBC Sport. 30 March 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  22. ^ Ross, Jack. "PFA Scotland Teams of the Year". pfascotland.co.uk. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Rangers striker Andy Little out for the rest of the year after breaking his cheekbone and jaw in horror collision". Daily Record. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  24. ^ "Rangers: Andy Little no longer part of McCoist's plans". BBC Sport. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "Preston North End: Striker Andy Little signs two-year deal". BBC Sport. 21 June 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Northern Ireland Under-21 Results". nifootball.blogspot.com. 12 October 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  27. ^ "Northern Ireland 3–2 Poland". BBC Sport. 29 March 2009. 
  28. ^ a b "Andrew Little". nifootball.blogspot.com. 23 March 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  29. ^ Questier, Joe (31 August 2011). "Little: Delighted to Sign". port-vale.co.uk. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  30. ^ Grahame, Ewing (12 July 2011). "Andrew Little keen to get out of Rangers 'comfort zone' and go out on loan". The Telegraph. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  31. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the Scottish Challenge Cup.
  32. ^ "Games played by Andrew Little in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  33. ^ "Games played by Andrew Little in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  34. ^ "Games played by Andrew Little in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  35. ^ a b "Games played by Andrew Little in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  36. ^ "Games played by Andrew Little in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  37. ^ "Games played by Andrew Little in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  38. ^ "stats". Soccerway. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  39. ^ "Games played by Andrew Little in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 

External links[edit]