Alan McCormack

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Alan McCormack
Personal information
Full name Alan McCormack[1]
Date of birth (1984-01-10) 10 January 1984 (age 34)[1]
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[1]
Playing position Right back / Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Luton Town
Number 4
Youth career
0000–2002 Stella Maris
2002–2003 Preston North End
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2007 Preston North End 11 (0)
2003 Leyton Orient (loan) 10 (0)
2005 Southend United (loan) 7 (2)
2005–2006 Motherwell (loan) 24 (2)
2006 Southend United (loan) 8 (1)
2007–2010 Southend United 140 (15)
2010–2011 Charlton Athletic 22 (1)
2011–2013 Swindon Town 79 (2)
2013–2017 Brentford 99 (2)
2017– Luton Town 16 (1)
National team
Republic of Ireland Schoolboys
2003 Republic of Ireland U19 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:59, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

Alan McCormack (born 10 January 1984) is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a right back or a midfielder for League One club Luton Town.

He began his career at Preston North End and later played for Southend United, Charlton Athletic and Swindon Town before signing for Brentford in 2013. He was capped at schoolboy and U19 level by the Republic of Ireland.

Club career[edit]

Preston North End[edit]

McCormack was born in Dublin and began his career with Stella Maris.[2] He signed for First Division club Preston North End in December 2002, after impressing on trial.[3] He won his first call into the first team squad shortly after, remaining an unused substitute during a 1–0 defeat to Sheffield United on 21 December.[4] He progressed to sign a professional contract in 2003 and made his debut on 6 March 2004 in a league match against Burnley,[2] when he replaced Dickson Etuhu after 55 minutes.[5] He made his first start in the following match against Sunderland, lasting 79 minutes before being substituted for Jeff Smith during a 3–3 draw.[5] McCormack made three more appearances before the end of 2003–04, taking his total appearances for the campaign to five.[5] McCormack made four appearances at the beginning of 2004–05,[6] but was made available for transfer in September 2004 and didn't feature in the first team at all after November.[7]

After spending the entire 2005–06 season away on loan,[8] McCormack made his first Preston appearance in nearly two years when he replaced Kelvin Wilson after 41 minutes of a 1–1 Championship home draw with Queens Park Rangers on 19 August 2006.[9] He played two further matches in September, with the latter match against Stoke City on 30 September being his final Preston appearance.[9] With his contract up at the end of 2006–07, McCormack handed in a transfer request in November 2006 and left the club on 1 January 2007.[10] He made a total of 12 appearances for the club.[11] Looking back in August 2012 on his time with the Lilywhites, McCormack said "I had a great few years there and I learnt a hell of a lot – enough to help me go on and continue my career in the professional game in England. I've got a lot of time and a lot of credit for that, I look back and I never have a bad word to say about it. I've got nothing but good things to say about the club, I'll always have fond memories of the place".[12]

Leyton Orient (loan)[edit]

McCormack signed on a one-month loan for Third Division club Leyton Orient on 29 August 2003 and made the first professional appearance of his career in a 4–1 home defeat to Cheltenham Town the following day,[13] replacing Billy Jones at half time.[5] McCormack received the first red card of his career in a 0–0 draw with Lincoln City on 13 September, leaving the proceedings after committing two bookable offences.[5] In late September, caretaker manager Martin Ling extended McCormack's loan until 1 November.[14] He was sent off again in a 1–1 draw with Northampton Town on 25 October.[15] McCormack made 11 appearances (amassing six yellow cards and two reds) before returning to Preston in November after his loan expired.[5]

Southend United (loan)[edit]

McCormack signed on loan for League Two club Southend United on 16 March 2005 and made his debut with a start in a 3–0 victory over Cheltenham Town on 19 March.[6][16] In April, the loan was extended until the end of 2004–05.[17] McCormack was an 81st-minute substitute for Mark Gower during the 2005 Football League Trophy Final against Wrexham at the Millennium Stadium on 10 April, though he was denied the first silverware of his career after Wrexham won 2–0 after extra time.[18] McCormack scored the first senior goals of his career with a brace in a 2–1 away victory over Macclesfield Town on 19 April.[6] McCormack left the club at the end of the season when his loan expired, having made eight appearances and scored two goals.[6]

Motherwell (loan)[edit]

McCormack spent the entire 2005–06 season on loan at Scottish Premier League club Motherwell.[8] He made 28 appearances in all competitions, scored two goals and collected 12 yellow cards and one red.[19]

Southend United (return on loan and permanent transfer)[edit]

McCormack returned to Southend United on loan on 18 November 2006, initially until 1 January 2007, with a view to a permanent move.[20] Successive promotions from League Two and League One in 2004–05 and 2005–06 saw Southend competing in the Championship for the 2006–07 season.[21] McCormack scored the first goal of his second Southend stint against Southampton in a 2–1 league victory on 9 December.[9] After an impressive spell, assistant manager Paul Brush confirmed on 11 December that McCormack would make his move to Southend permanent in January 2007.[22] On 2 January, McCormack signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Shrimpers.[23] He scored his first goal since signing permanently against Leicester City on 3 March 2007, coming off the bench to level the scores at 2–2 in injury time.[9] On 9 April, he scored an 88th-minute goal in a 3–2 away victory over his previous employers, Preston North End (his strike was voted goal of the season),[24] though it was not enough to save Southend from relegation to League One.[21] McCormack made 26 appearances and scored three goals during the 2006–07 season.[9]

During 2007–08, McCormack formed a formidable centre midfield partnership with Nicky Bailey. The pair managed 20 goals between them, with McCormack bagging nine, which included a run of five goals in seven matches in September 2007.[25] McCormack was influential in Southend's sixth-place finish, though their season ended with a play-off semi-final defeat to Doncaster Rovers.[26] In June 2008, he signed a new three-year contract.[27] McCormack suffered a knee injury during the 2008–09 pre-season which kept him out of action for eight weeks.[28] After his return, he went on to make 38 appearances during the season, scoring two goals.[29] He played the full 90 minutes in a memorable 1–1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup third round on 3 January 2009.[30] He missed the replay, which Southend lost 4–1.[31] McCormack made 43 appearances and scored three goals in 2009–10,[32] though his final season at Southend finished on a sour note as the club suffered relegation to League Two.[21] On 24 June 2010, McCormack had his contract terminated by mutual consent.[33] Over the course of his two spells with the Shrimpers, McCormack made 166 appearances and scored 19 goals.[11]

Charlton Athletic[edit]

McCormack remained in League One and signed a two-year contract with Charlton Athletic on 6 July 2010.[34] His time at The Valley got off to a good start, scoring against former club Leyton Orient on his second appearance,[35] though it turned out to be his only goal for Charlton.[11] He made 31 appearances over the course of 2010–11,[36] as Charlton slumped to a mid-table finish.[37] McCormack's contract was terminated by mutual consent in July 2011.[38] Looking back in August 2014 on his time with the Addicks, McCormack said "it wasn't a great year and I didn't play particularly well. It was a bit hostile. There was a lot of stuff on the internet sent to me, so it wasn't a pretty time and I don't look back at it with fond memories".[39]

Swindon Town[edit]

After a spell training with Swindon Town, McCormack signed a two-year contract with the League Two club on 21 July 2011.[40] He was moved from his natural midfield position to the defence and formed a centre back partnership with Aden Flint.[41] He enjoyed a successful first season with the club, making 51 appearances, scoring two goals,[42] winning the League Two title and Swindon's Player of the Season award.[43] He was a losing finalist in the Football League Trophy for the second time in his career, after Swindon were beaten 2–0 by Chesterfield in the 2012 final.[44] Under the management of Paolo Di Canio, McCormack had a good 2012–13 season back in League One, being named captain,[12] making 47 appearances and helping Swindon to a sixth-place finish which saw them qualify for the play-offs,[45] though they would eventually be defeated on penalties by Brentford in the semi-finals.[46] He was released by the club after the season, after failing to agree a new contract.[47] McCormack made 98 appearances and scored two goals during his two seasons with the Robins.[11] After leaving the club, he stated his reason for departing as being because "the first offer I got from Swindon disappointed me, I just felt that I was worth more to the club than a one-year offer. When they sent me the offer I was really gutted and disappointed and that really let me know in my head that maybe it was time to move on to another club".[48]

Brentford[edit]

2013–2015[edit]

On 24 June 2013, McCormack signed a two-year contract with Brentford,[49] who had remained in League One after suffering defeat in the 2013 League One play-off Final.[50] He began the 2013–14 season in his natural midfield position, before being moved to right back by manager Uwe Rösler in October to replace out-of-form Shaleum Logan.[51] McCormack scored his first Brentford goal in an FA Cup first round tie against local neighbours Staines Town on 9 November, opening the scoring with a penalty in a 5–0 victory.[52] The unavailability of Jonathan Douglas and Adam Forshaw meant that McCormack returned to central midfield for a 2–0 win over Port Vale on 11 January 2014.[53] He scored his first goal for the Bees on 22 March, lobbing Coventry City goalkeeper Joe Murphy to score Brentford's third in a 3–1 victory at Griffin Park.[54] A near ever-present under Uwe Rösler and his successor Mark Warburton, McCormack celebrated promotion to the Championship after a 1–0 victory over former club Preston North End on 18 April.[55] He finished the 2013–14 season with 45 appearances and two goals.[56] He won the club's Supporters' Player of the Year award and was named as the right back in the League One Team of the Season.[57][58]

McCormack's first appearance of 2014–15 came on the opening day against former club Charlton Athletic, playing right back in a 1–1 draw.[59] After starting in each of the Bees' first seven league matches,[60] McCormack signed a new two-year contract, with the option of a third year, to keep him at Griffin Park until June 2016.[61] McCormack celebrated the signing by scoring his first goal of the season with the Bees' second in a 2–0 win over Leeds United on 27 September.[62] McCormack's status as an ever-present in league matches came to an end after suffering an ankle ligament injury after 70 minutes of a 3–1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers on 25 October.[63] He returned to light training in January 2015 and made his first team return as a 74th-minute substitute for Toumani Diagouraga during a 3–1 victory over Bournemouth on 21 February.[64][65] Having lost his right back berth to Moses Odubajo, he made just three further appearances in a successful season for the Bees, which finished in defeat to Middlesbrough in the play-off semi-finals.[60] McCormack made 18 appearances and scored one goal during the 2014–15 season.[66]

2015–2017[edit]

The departure of right back Moses Odubajo on the eve of 2015–16 and injuries in midfield saw McCormack reinstated in the team.[67] After moving back into midfield, his ever-present status ended in early December due to groin and calf injuries.[68][69] McCormack finally returned to the team for a West London derby versus Queens Park Rangers on 12 March 2016, playing the full 90 minutes of the 3–0 defeat.[70] After six further starts,[71] the option to extend McCormack's contract for a further year was triggered.[72] He managed 29 appearances during the 2015–16 season.[70]

McCormack made his first appearance of 2016–17 with a start in the EFL Cup versus Exeter City on 9 August 2016, but he lasted 10 minutes before suffering a foot injury.[73] He returned to the team seven weeks later,[74] but made just three appearances before being handed a five match suspension and a £6,000 fine on 20 October, for charges relating to the use of "abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official" during a match versus Cardiff City on 19 April 2016.[75] He made his first appearance in three-and-a-half months with a late substitute cameo in a 3–0 win over Aston Villa on 31 January 2017 and made sporadic substitute appearances through to the end of the season.[74] On 4 May, it was announced that McCormack would be released at the end of the season and he made his final appearance for the club three days later,[76] as a second-half substitute for Konstantin Kerschbaumer during a 3–1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers.[74] He finished his Brentford career with 104 appearances and three goals.[11]

Luton Town[edit]

On 1 June 2017, McCormack signed for League Two club Luton Town on a contract of undisclosed length on a free transfer.[77] He scored with a 25-yard volley on his debut for Luton in an 8–2 win at home to Yeovil Town on the opening day of 2017–18, which was named the League Two Goal of the Month for August 2017.[78][79] McCormack signed a one-year extension to his contract in May 2018.[80]

International career[edit]

McCormack's first exposure to international football came at schoolboy level.[1] Injury to Darren Potter saw McCormack called up to the Republic of Ireland under-19 team for three 2003 European U19 Championship second qualifying round matches in May 2003.[81] He failed to make the squad for the first two matches against the England under-19 team and Switzerland under-19 team,[82][83] but started the third match against the Slovenia under-19 team, which resulted in a 2–0 win.[84]

Style of play[edit]

The Coventry Telegraph described McCormack as "a no-nonsense tough-tackling midfielder who is prepared to put his body in places others wouldn't. He has a similar style of play to fellow countryman Roy Keane and while he has not quite reached the same level as the former Manchester United skipper, he has adopted the same dogged and determined style of football".[85]

Coaching career[edit]

McCormack began taking his coaching badges in late September 2014 and hinted that he is interested in entering coaching and management after his playing career is over.[86]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 5 May 2018
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Preston North End 2003–04[5] First Division 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
2004–05[6] Championship 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 0
2006–07[9] Championship 3 0 0 0 3 0
Total 11 0 0 0 1 0 12 0
Leyton Orient (loan) 2003–04[5] Third Division 10 0 0 0 1[a] 0 11 0
Southend United (loan) 2004–05[6] League Two 7 2 1[a] 0 8 2
Motherwell (loan) 2005–06[19] Scottish Premier League 24 2 1 0 3 0 28 2
Southend United 2006–07[9] Championship 22 3 3 0 1 0 26 3
2007–08[25] League One 42 8 4 0 1 0 3[b] 1 50 9
2008–09[29] League One 35 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 39 2
2009–10[32] League One 41 3 0 0 2 0 0 0 43 3
Total 147 18 11 0 4 0 4 1 166 19
Charlton Athletic 2010–11[36] League One 22 1 4 0 0 0 3 0 29 1
Swindon Town 2011–12[42] League Two 39 2 4 0 2 0 5[a] 0 51 2
2012–13[45] League One 40 0 0 0 4 0 3[c] 0 47 0
Total 79 2 4 0 6 0 8 0 98 2
Brentford 2013–14[56] League One 43 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 45 2
2014–15[66] Championship 18 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 18 1
2015–16[70] Championship 27 0 1 0 1 0 29 0
2016–17[74] Championship 11 0 0 0 1 0 12 0
Total 99 2 3 1 2 0 0 0 104 3
Luton Town 2017–18[87] League Two 16 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 1
Career total 408 26 23 1 16 0 16 1 464 28
  1. ^ a b c Appearance(s) in Football League Trophy
  2. ^ One appearance and one goal in Football League Trophy, two appearances in League One play-offs
  3. ^ One appearance in Football League Trophy, two in League One play-offs

Honours[edit]

Swindon Town

Brentford

Luton Town

Individual

References[edit]

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External links[edit]