Michael O'Neill (footballer)

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Michael O'Neill
Personal information
Full name Michael Andrew Martin O'Neill
Date of birth (1969-07-05) 5 July 1969 (age 45)
Place of birth Portadown, Northern Ireland
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Northern Ireland (manager)
Youth career
Chimney Corner
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984–1987 Coleraine 18 (4)
1987–1989 Newcastle United 48 (15)
1989–1993 Dundee United 64 (11)
1993–1996 Hibernian 97 (19)
1996–1998 Coventry City 5 (0)
1998 Aberdeen (loan) 6 (0)
1998 Reading (loan) 9 (1)
1998–2000 Wigan Athletic 66 (2)
2000–2001 St. Johnstone 9 (0)
2001 Portland Timbers 22 (5)
2001–2002 Clydebank 19 (4)
2002–2004 Glentoran 44 (4)
2004 Ayr United 2 (0)
Total 409 (65)
National team
1994 Northern Ireland U21 1 (0)
1989 Northern Ireland U23 1 (0)
1994–1999 Northern Ireland B 2 (0)
1988–1996 Northern Ireland 31 (4)
Teams managed
2006–2008 Brechin City
2009–2011 Shamrock Rovers
2011– Northern Ireland
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Michael Andrew Martin O'Neill (born 5 July 1969) is a Northern Irish former footballer who is the current manager of Northern Ireland.

O'Neill started his playing career in his native Northern Ireland with Coleraine, before playing for a number of clubs in England, Scotland and the United States. He was capped 31 times at international level by Northern Ireland, in which he scored four goals. His first managerial role was with Brechin City, who he managed from 2006 to 2008, when he accepted the post at Shamrock Rovers. Having won two League of Ireland titles and the Setanta Cup with Rovers, he took over as Northern Ireland manager in 2012.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Portadown, County Armagh, to a Catholic background,[1] although as a child he moved to Ballymena where he attended All Saints Primary School (now St Brigids PS) and later attended St Louis Grammar School Ballymena where he won the Northern Ireland Schools FA Cup.

O'Neill played as a midfielder or forward for Chimney Corner, Coleraine, Newcastle, Dundee United, Hibs, Coventry City, Aberdeen (on loan), Reading (on loan), Wigan Athletic, St Johnstone, Portland Timbers, Clydebank, Glentoran and Ayr United.

While at Newcastle in the 1987–1988 season he was the club's top goal scorer with 12 goals in the top flight of English Football, playing alongside Paul Gascoigne amongst others. O'Neill has gained much European football experience in his career. He made two appearances for Coleraine in the UEFA Cup and played three times for Glentoran in both the UEFA Cup and Champions League qualifiers. He scored for Dundee United in the 1989-90 UEFA Cup against Royal Antwerp F.C..

He played for the U21, U23, B and full national teams of Northern Ireland. He scored twice in a 5–3 against Austria, where he also hit the post.

Managerial career[edit]

Brechin City[edit]

He began management as assistant at Cowdenbeath before becoming manager of Scottish side Brechin City in April 2006. He won the Second Division Manager of the Month award in both December 2007[2] and October 2008.[3] O'Neill was released by Brechin City to join Shamrock Rovers on 13 December 2008.[4]

Shamrock Rovers[edit]

At the press conference when unveiled as Rovers manager, he cited Gordon Strachan as his main managerial influence.[5] He was awarded the Irish Soccer Writers Manager of the Month award for July 2009 and eventually guided The Hoops to second place in the 2009 League of Ireland.

In October 2010, he guided Shamrock Rovers to win the 2010 League of Ireland title, their first league championship since 1994.[6] O'Neill led Rovers to the 2011 Setanta Sports Cup and then made history by being the first manager of a League of Ireland team to reach the group stages of a European competition.[7] Rovers defeated Partizan Belgrade in the play-off round of the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League.[7] Shamrock Rovers retained their league title in the 2011 season.[8][9] New contract talks between O'Neill and Shamrock Rovers stalled[10] and he left the club in December 2011.[11] O'Neill won the Soccer Writers Association Personality of the Year award for 2011.[12]

Northern Ireland[edit]

O'Neill was appointed manager of Northern Ireland on 28 December 2011, becoming the first Catholic in 50 years to manage Northern Ireland.[1][13] O'Neill first game in charge ended in defeat with a 3–0 loss to Norway.[14] In his next game an inexperienced Northern Ireland team were beaten 6–0 by the Netherlands in Amsterdam.[15] During their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, Northern Ireland earned some credible results, including a 1–1 draw away to Portugal and a 1–0 home win against Russia.[16] In November 2013, O'Neill agreed a new two-year deal with Irish Football Association to remain as Northern Ireland manager.[17]

Media career[edit]

O'Neill worked as a pundit on RTE Sport during their coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.


As a player[edit]

As a manager[edit]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 29 March 2015
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Brechin City Scotland 4 April 2006 15 December 2008 197 78 57 62 39.59
Shamrock Rovers Republic of Ireland 15 December 2008 28 December 2011 124 66 31 27 53.23
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland 28 December 2011 Present 24 5 7 12 20.83
Total 345 149 95 101 43.19


  1. ^ a b "Michael O'Neill says he doesn't want any more players switching south". Joe. 5 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Managerial award for Brechin boss". BBC Sport. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "O'Neill wins October boss prize". BBC Sport. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Managerial Statement, Brechin City, 13 December 2008.
  5. ^ New Shamrock Rovers boss O’Neill eyeing top four spot – Irish Examiner
  6. ^ "O'Neill relieved to seal title". RTÉ Sport. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Shamrock Rovers make history and enter Europe League". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media plc). 26 August 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "O'Neill hails back-to-back champions". Irish Examiner. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  9. ^ Malone, Emmet (26 October 2011). "Kelly secures 17th title for Rovers". Irish Times. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Pat Fenlon to hold Bohemians talks over Hibs interest". BBC Sport. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  11. ^ http://www.shamrockrovers.ie/news/35-news/2330-club-statement
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Michael O'Neill confirmed as new N Ireland manager". BBC Sport. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "Norway ruin Michael O'Neill's debut as Northern Ireland manager". The Guardian. 29 February 2012. 
  15. ^ "Holland v Northern Ireland – 2 June". EuroSport. 2 June[year needed].  Check date values in: |date= (help)[dead link]
  16. ^ "Paterson stuns Capello as O'Neill claims first win". Daily Mail. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "Michael O'Neill agrees new two-year deal with N Ireland". BBC Sport. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 

External links[edit]