Niall McCusker

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Niall McCusker
Personal information
Irish name Niall Mac Oscair
Sport Gaelic football
Position Full back
Born (1980-12-08) 8 December 1980 (age 36)
Ballinderry, County Londonderry,
Northern Ireland
Nickname Big Niall
Occupation Flooring contractor[1]
Years Club
199x-Present Ballinderry
Club titles
Derry titles 4
Ulster titles 1
All-Ireland Titles 1
Years County Apps (scores)
1999[1]-Present Derry ?
Inter-county titles

Niall McCusker (Irish: Niall Mac Oscair; born 8 December 1980[1]) is an Irish Gaelic footballer who plays for Derry, with whom he has won two National League titles. He is the current Derry vice-captain.

McCusker plays his club football for Ballinderry Shamrocks. He was instrumental in helping Ballinderry win the 2002 All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship. He has also won four Derry Championships and an Ulster Senior Club Football Championship with the club.

He is seen as a tough, old-fashioned full-back, but is versatile and can play in almost any position. Adrian McGuckin said of McCusker "He has a great footballing brain, his positional sense is unreal and he never wastes a ball".[2] Fellow Derry full back and captain Kevin McCloy says "I'd rather run into a train than run into Niall McCusker".[3]

Football career[edit]


McCusker made his Derry Senior debut in 1998.[2] In 2000 he won the National League with Derry, defeating Meath in the final.[4] McCusker was named Derry vice-captain for 2005.[5] He sat out the 2006 and 2007 campaign, but was recalled for the 2008 campaign.[6] He was part of the Derry team that won the 2008 National League where Derry beat Kerry in the final.[7][8] He was instrumental in the final where he marked Kieran Donaghy and kept him scoreless, and in fact outscored him when he scored a great 50 metre point.

McCusker has been appointed Derry vice-captain for the 2009 season.[9]


McCusker scoring the equalising goal against Crossmaglen in the 2008 Ulster Club Championship final

McCusker has been on the Ballinderry senior team since he was 17.[2] In 1998 McCusker was part of the Ballinderry team that won the All-Ireland Kilmacud Crokes Sevens Championship. After losing two finals in a row to Bellaghy in 1999 and 2000, Ballinderry won the 2001 Derry Senior Championship[1] defeating Bellaghy in the decider. The club went on to win the 2001 Ulster Club Championship with victories over St. Gall's, Cavan Gaels and Mayobridge. Ballinderry went on to represent Ulster in the All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship, which they won defeating Tír Chonaill Gaels (London) in the quarter-final, Rathnew (Wicklow) in the semi-final and Nemo Rangers (Cork) in the final. McCusker played a great game in that final, marking Nemo's main scoring threat Colin Corkery.[2][10]

Ballinderry defended the Derry Championship in 2002,[1] but lost in the semi-final stage of the Ulster Club Championship to Errigal Ciarán. McCusker was once again runner-up in the Derry Championship in 2003, losing to An Lúb in the final. He gained his third Derry Championship medal with the club in 2006.[1] Ballinderry once again reached the Ulster Club final, but lost narrowly to Crossmaglen Rangers. For the 2007 season McCusker was captain of Ballinderry. In 2008 McCusker and Ballinderry won the Ulster Senior Club Football League and the Derry Championship again, and again were runners-up in the Ulster Senior Club Championship.






  • Ballinderry Senior football captain: 2007

Note: The above lists may be incomplete. Please add any other honours you know of.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Derry player profiles 2008". Official Derry GAA website. Early 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d Scott, Ronan (19 March 2008). "McCusker - The original article". Gaelic Life. Retrieved 31 March 2008. [dead link]
  3. ^ Archer, Kenny (28 May 2008). "McCloy out to smash the Ulster title duopoly". The Irish News. Retrieved 1 June 2008. 
  4. ^ "Derry Football Roll Of Honour". Official Derry GAA website. Retrieved 1 April 2008. 
  5. ^ McCallion, Chris (15 February 2005). "Decent men Erne praise from Moran". Daily Ireland. 
  6. ^ "McCusker returns to Derry panel". BBC. 24 December 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2008. 
  7. ^ "Derry 2-13 Kerry 2-09 2008 National League Final report". RTÉ Online. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2008. 
  8. ^ "Derry 2-13 Kerry 2-09 2008 National League Final report - Derry GAA website". Derry GAA website. Retrieved 27 April 2008. 
  9. ^ Heaney, Paddy (27 January 2009). "Doherty the new Oak Leaf skipper". The Irish News. p. 54. 
  10. ^ "Ballinderry are champions". BBC. 17 March 2002. Retrieved 31 March 2008. 
  11. ^ "Derry line-ups 2005". Derry GAA website. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2008. 

External links[edit]