|Full name||Niall McGinn|
|Date of birth||20 July 1987|
|Place of birth||Donaghmore, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2011–2012||→ Brentford (loan)||37||(5)|
|2007–2008||Northern Ireland U23||2||(0)|
|2009||Northern Ireland B||1||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 December 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
McGinn began his football career at Dungannon Swifts in his native country. In his first full season, the club finished 10th place.
McGinn was signed by Derry City manager Stephen Kenny in January 2008 for an undisclosed fee from Dungannon Swifts in the Carnegie Premier League, who in turn signed him from Donaghmore Celtic. His decision to sign a professional football contract meant that McGinn retired from playing Gaelic football for Donaghmore and Tyrone U-21s.[dead link] A very promising young talent, McGinn mainly plays on the left or right side of midfield but he can also be employed as a secondary striker. On 14 March 2008, McGinn made his debut for the club in a 2–1 win over Finn Harps. On 25 March 2008, McGinn scored his first goal for the club in a 4–1 win over University College Dublin. On 1 June 2008, McGinn scored his second goal in a 3–2 loss against Cork City. On 25 July 2008, McGinn scored his third goal in a 4–0 win over Galway United and scored again (fifth) in the second meeting on 2 November 2008 in a 2–0 win. On 9 August 2008, McGinn scored his fourth goal in a 3–0 win over Cobh Ramblers and scored again (sixth) in the second meeting on 14 November 2008 in a 4–2 win.
McGinn signed for Celtic on 1 January 2009. On 12 September 2009, McGinn made his first team debut for Celtic against Dundee United. Although the game ended in a 1–1 draw, McGinn was awarded the official Man of the Match award. On 17 September 2009, McGinn made his Europa League Groupstage debut in a 2–1 loss against Hapoel Tel Aviv. In the last Groupstage game with Celtic out, they faced Austrian side Rapid Wien to finished third place. The match ended 3–3 which Celtic finished third. During the match, McGinn started the match and provided assist for Marc-Antoine Fortuné to score the second goal in a match before coming off for Graham Carey.
On 31 October 2009, McGinn scored his first goal for Celtic coming on as a 66th minute substitute in a 3–0 win over Kilmarnock at Celtic Park. McGinn scored his second goal for Celtic against Hamilton Academical on 26 December 2009 by driving a right footed shot into the top corner. He scored his first goal in the Scottish Cup and his third of the 2009–10 season to put Celtic 1–0 ahead against Greenock Morton on 19 January 2010. In the January transfer window, McGinn was a transfer target for Premier League side Wigan Athletic but wished to stay at Celtic. At the end of the season, McGinn suffered an injury during the end of the last training session of the season on 17 May 2010 after breaking a metatarsal bone in his right foot and out for 2 months. After recovering from his injury, McGinn says manager Neil Lennon played a big role in helping him recover from his injury.
After being on the substitute twice in the game but did not come on, McGinn scored in his first game of the 2010–11 season, a 3–2 win over St Johnstone in the Scottish League Cup on 27 October 2010 which he scored twice in the match. 3 days later on 30 October 2010, McGinn scored twice against them but this time in the league in a 3–2 win. In the next match against Aberdeen, McGinn provided assist for Gary Hooper to score his second in the match which later Hooper scored a hat-trick. That match would hold the record as the biggest ever win in the SPL, as well as being the biggest ever defeat in the history of Aberdeen. Later on the season, McGinn would play less and be on the substitute bench.
Before the start of the season rumours flowed that there was a fall-out between McGinn and Lennon with McGinn being unhappy over being left out of the pre-season tour of Australia. Lennon denied this and explained the leaving out of McGinn was due to his international commitments at the Nations Cup in May. McGinn signed a new one-year extension on his contract at the start of the 2011–12 season before moving to Brentford. After his loan move to Brentford, McGinn says moving to Brentford could be an end of his Celtic career after a phone-call conversation from Lennon.
On 7 July 2011, McGinn signed for English League One club Brentford on a season long loan deal. On 6 August 2011, McGinn made his debut for the club in a 2–0 win against Yeovil Town where he made his first start before coming off in the second half. On 16 August 2011, McGinn provided an assist for Clayton Donaldson to make 2–0 against Exeter City, only for the game to end in a 2–1 win. On 20 August 2011, McGinn scored his first goal for the club in a 5–0 win over Leyton Orient. On 17 September 2011, McGinn scored his second goal for the club in a 2–0 win over Preston. On 10 December 2011, McGinn scored his third goal for the club in a 2–1 win over Hartlepool United. On 14 February 2012, McGinn scored his fourth goal for the club in a 2–1 loss against Colchester United. On 3 April 2012, McGinn scored his fifth goal for the club in a 2–1 win over Oldham Athletic and in the first meeting of the season, McGinn set up a goal for Myles Weston in a 2–0 win on 24 September 2011.
On 4 July 2012, McGinn signed for Scottish Premier League club Aberdeen on a two-year contract after his deal with Celtic expired. After his move to Aberdeen, McGinn revealed the club's aim to challenge his former club Celtic and gain a place in Europe. McGinn joined up with his teammates as they headed out to Germany for a pre-season tour which included games against Werder Bremen and FC St. Pauli. McGinn scored his first goal for the Dons' in the friendly against St. Pauli, rounding the goalkeeper after picking up the ball from a poor back pass.
He went onto make his competitive debut for Aberdeen, in an opening day 1–0 defeat away to SPL champions Celtic. The following weekend, McGinn made his home debut against newly promoted side Ross County. The game finished 0–0 and also saw McGinn stretchered off towards the end of the game after an accidental collision with veteran defender Grant Munro. Manager Craig Brown spoke after the game, ruling McGinn out of the Northern Ireland squad that was due to face Finland on 14 August. The former Scotland manager said: "We can't tell the length of the recovery period but he will certainly be out in the immediate future."
After being out for 4 weeks due to an ankle injury, Niall featured as a substitute in a 1–1 draw with Inverness Caledonian thistle. The next week he came on as a substitute against Motherwell and scored his first competitive goal for the club, helping Aberdeen come back from 1–3 down to draw 3–3. He then went on to score in his next 2 appearances for the Dons. A 2–1 victory at home to Hibernian and helped the Dons come back to beat Kilmarnock 3–1 at Rugby Park. A fortnight later, he scored his thirtieth goal in four matches at Tannadice in a 1–1 draw with Dundee United. On 27 October 2012, McGinn became the first Aberdeen player in 20 years to score in five successive league matches, netting the opening goal in a 2–0 win over Dundee. The following week, in a 2–1 loss to Ross County in Dingwall, McGinn scored in his sixth straight league match, smashing Duncan Shearer's record. McGinn headed a late equaliser for Aberdeen in a Scottish Cup tie with Motherwell to level the match and set up a replay at Fir Park.
The Northern Irishman bagged the first hat-trick in his professional career in a convincing 3–1 victory over Dundee at Dens Park, on 29 December 2012; this brought his goal tally to 14 before the turn of the year. He scored a sublime free kick in a 2–2 draw with Dundee United at Pittodrie three days later, his 14th goal in 19 league games. On the last day of the transfer window, McGinn revealed he received a six-figure bid from three clubs in the Championship, which he rebuffed, to return the faith shown in him by Craig Brown.
On the 3rd of May 2013 Niall was awarded both Aberdeen Player of the Year and Aberdeen Players' Player of the Year for the 2012/13 season. On picking up the awards McGinn said: "The fans have been unbelievable towards me and I am very thankful to them for that. To win the award voted for by the fans means that you are doing something right on the park. Thank you to everyone that took the time to vote for me". McGinn finished the season with 21 goals in all competitions, 20 of those coming in league matches.
On 17 May, McGinn signed a two-year extension to his current contract, tying him to the club until 2016.
McGinn's performances for Derry City led to him featuring in the Northern Ireland under-23 team.
In November 2008, McGinn received his first call-up to the Northern Ireland senior squad by manager Nigel Worthington for the series of international friendlies and he gained his first cap coming on as a substitute against Hungary on 19 November. He was the first Derry City player to play for the senior Northern Ireland team in 19 years. Although disappointed in the result, Nigel Worthington is quoted as saying of McGinn:
|“||He was the one bright spark in our side. He did what he is good at – he kept it simple. He ran at players when he had the opportunity and was not afraid.||”|
McGinn again impressed when called up to the senior squad for the friendly against Israel at Windsor Park on 12 August 2009. The match ended 1–1, and McGinn came on as a second half substitute. Again, his individual perfmormance was praised by manager Nigel Worthington:
|“||Niall McGinn did terrifically well – he got us up the pitch and used his pace and ability.||”|
McGinn scored his first international goal against Portugal in a FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifier on 16 October 2012
Style of play
In January 2010 McGinn was awarded the George Best Breakthrough Award for 2009 in recognition of his impressive performances for club and country.
On 6 November 2012, it was announced that Aberdeen F.C. had scooped a hat-trick of awards for the month of October. Manager Craig Brown took Manager of the Month, McGinn took Player of the Month and midfielder Ryan Fraser took the award for Young Player of the Month.
In January 2011, it was reported that Royal Mail had intercepted packages sent by loyalists containing bullets addressed to McGinn, Paddy McCourt and Celtic manager Neil Lennon. McGinn and McCourt were both shocked and disappointed to be subjected to such threats.
- As of 7 December 2013
- Derry City
- PFAI Young Player of the Year (1): 2008
- Aberdeen FC Player of the Year (1): 2013
- SPL Player of the Month (1): October 2012
- PLAYER PROFILES – Niall McGinn Derry City FC. Retrieved 16 November 2008[dead link]
- Chelsea scouting City's McGinn Derry Journal Online, 14 October 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2008
- "Bhoys & Blues battle for winger". Sky Sports. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "McGinn seals transfer to Celtic". BBC Sport. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2008.
- "McGinn eyes long Celtic stay". Sky Sports. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "McGinn suffers injury blow". Sky Sports. 18 May 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "McGinn grateful to Lennon". Sky Sports. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "St Johnstone 2–3 Celtic". BBC Sport. 27 October 2010.
- "Lennon – No McGinn fall-out". Sky Sports. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Celtic winger Niall McGinn joins Brentford on loan". BBC Sport. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- "McGinn to secure Hoops future". Sky Sports. 14 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Aberdeen sign former Celtic forward Niall McGinn". BBC Sport. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
- "McGinn eyes title challenge". Sky Sports. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Friendly: St Pauli 1 Aberdeen 1". Daily Record. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- "Celtic 1–0 Aberdeen". BBC Sport (BBC). 4 August 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "Aberdeen 0–0 Ross County". BBC Sport. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- "Dons boss sweats on fitness of Niall McGinn after he is stretchered off". Daily Record. 12 August 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- "Aberdeen winger Niall McGinn to miss Northern Ireland friendly". BBC Sport. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- "Post Match Reaction". Sky Sports. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- "Aberdeen 2–0 Dundee". BBC. 27 October 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
- "Dundee 1 Aberdeen 3: McGinn magic has Dons beaming as treble leaves Dee in the mire". Daily Record. 30 December 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- "Aberdeen striker Niall McGinn knocks back Championship interest on deadline day". Daily Record. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- "Aberdeen forward Niall McGinn signs new two-year deal". BBC Sport. BBC. 17 May 2013.
- McGinn gains first senior call-up RTÉ Sport, 7 November 2008; Retrieved 16 November 2008
- NORTHERN IRELAND 0–2 HUNGARY Irish FA, 19 November 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2008
- Aidan Fitzmaurice McGinn aims to end 19 years of Derry exclusion Herald.ie, 12 November 2008; Retrieved 23 November 2008
- Worthington fumes after defeat[dead link] TeamTalk. Retrieved 23 November 2008
- NI winger impresses Worthington BBC Sport, 12 August 2009; Retrieved 14 August 2009
- Fahey named PFAI Player of the Year RTÉ Sport, 17 November 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2008
- McGinn nets top football award Celtic FC, 29 January 2010
- Murray, Ewan (10 January 2010). "Neil Lennon brushes aside bullets threat as Celtic ease past Berwick". The Guardian (London).
- "Hoops duo shocked by threats". Sky Sports. 12 January 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2012.