McChrystal playing for Bristol Rovers in 2013
|Full name||Mark Thomas McChrystal|
|Date of birth||26 June 1984|
|Place of birth||Derry, Northern Ireland|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|2003||→ Bradford City (loan)|
|2003||→ Institute (loan)||7||(0)|
|2012||→ Scunthorpe United (loan)||3||(0)|
|Northern Ireland Schoolboys|
|Northern Ireland U18|
|2004–2006||Northern Ireland U21||9||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:12, 3 January 2013 (UTC).
Mark Thomas McChrystal (born 26 June 1984) is a Northern Irish footballer who currently plays for Bristol Rovers. Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, he is a left-footed defender, he has in the past also captained the Northern Ireland under-21 side.
McChrystal began his career at Wolverhampton Wanderers where he was one of a plethora of young players from Northern Ireland playing there. After spending three years at Molineux, including a spell on loan at Bradford City in 2003, he was released by the Midlands club and he eventually returned home to sign for his local team Derry City of the League of Ireland in April 2003, despite interest from other English clubs. He was then loaned out to near neighbours Institute by Dermot Keely on a three-month deal.
His stay in the Irish League was short-lived however, and after just six games for the club, he picked up an injury in the quarter-final of the North-West Cup against Moyola Park which hastened his return to Derry City. He fought his way back into the team under Gavin Dykes and Peter Hutton but did not appear regularly during the reign of Stephen Kenny due to stiff competition in defence. Seen to be surplus to demands, he was released on 14 December 2006 after the appointment of Pat Fenlon as manager.
Within a month he had moved to Glasgow-based club, Partick Thistle. He made his Jags debut in a 2–0 defeat by Clyde on 2 January 2007 and was a regular through to the end of the season. He scored his only goal in a 4–3 defeat by Queen of the South as Partick almost came back from 4–0 down.
He re-signed for Derry City in August 2007 after turning down a move to Glentoran and being released by new Thistle manager Ian McCall. The following year he collected his first major honours, a winner's medal in the League Cup as Wexford Youths were routed 6–1 and a runners-up medal following an FAI Cup Final penalty shoot-out defeat by Bohemians.
Unhappy with his limited first team chances after returning from a broken cheekbone and non-payment of wages, he negotiated an early release from his Derry contract in August 2009. He went on trial at Huddersfield but failed to win a deal and Crewe Alexandra before joining Lisburn Distillery on a short-term deal in late 2009.
Unhappy over non-payment of his wages by Lisburn he rejoined Derry City for a third spell in January 2010, signing a one-year contract. He then went on to help Derry back into the Premier Division as First Division Champions.
On 6 January 2011 he joined English club Tranmere Rovers on a six-month contract and made his Football League debut as a 77th-minute substitute on 8 January against Walsall. At the end of the 2010–11 season he offered a new contract by the club and at the end of June he signed a two-year contract.
His first goal for the club came against Scunthorpe on 5 May 2012 in Tranmere's final match of the season.
He gained Schoolboy caps while at St. Columb's College in his native Derry, and added Under-18 caps whilst at Wolves. He appeared nine times for Northern Ireland's Under 21 team, making his debut on 18 August 2004 against Switzerland, with his last appearance coming almost two years later on 16 August 2006 against Romania.
He holds a degree in Business Studies with Accounts.
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- Alex Gwyn Griffiths (6 November 2009). "Crewe Alex: Gradi ponders McChrystal move". The Sentinel. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
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- "Mark Scoltock moves from Institute to Derry City". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
- "Monaghan United 0–1 Derry City". League of Ireland. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Defender joins Tranmere Rovers". Tranmere Rovers. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
- "Tranmere 3–3 Walsall". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 8 January 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
- "Rovers Offer Six New Contracts". Tranmere Rovers FC. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
- "Defender Mark McChrystal extends Tranmere contract". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 30 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Tranmere 1 – 1 Rochdale". BBC Sport. 5 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
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