Patrick McEleney

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Patrick McEleney
Personal information
Full name Patrick McEleney
Date of birth (1992-09-26) 26 September 1992 (age 24)
Place of birth Derry, Northern Ireland
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Number 11
Youth career
2008–2009 Sunderland
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2015 Derry City 175 (26)
2016– Dundalk 11 (2)
National team
2008 Northern Ireland U16 ? (?)
2008–2009 Republic of Ireland U17 7[1] (1)
2009–2010 Republic of Ireland U19 4[2] (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 8 December 2015.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 September 2012

Patrick McEleney (born 26 September 1992) is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Dundalk in the League of Ireland.[3] He has previously played for Sunderland and his hometown club Derry City. McEleney has represented Dundalk and Derry City in European competition.

Club career[edit]


McEleney joined Sunderland from Foyle Harps on a scholarship in the summer of 2008.[4] He signed a two-and-a-half year professional contract with the club in September 2008 and formed part of the under-18 and reserves teams which won their respective leagues that season under Kevin Ball. He was granted a Civic Reception by the Mayor of Derry, Colr. Gerard Diver in the Guildhall in April 2009 to acknowledge his swift rise to prominence at the club.[5] However, his time at the Stadium of Light was cut short as the player struggled with homesickness and the club agreed to release him from his contract.[6]

Derry City[edit]

McEleney was one of the first four players signed by Stephen Kenny for Derry City following their relegation to the League of Ireland First Division, penning a two-year deal in December 2009.[7] He was a key member of the Derry side that won the 2010 First Division title, scoring 12 league goals in 31 appearances, and he attracted interest from some English Premier League clubs and Celtic due to his performances.[8] McEleney was nominated for the 2010 PFAI First Division Player of the Year award, ultimately losing out to Graham Cummins.[9] McEleney was involved in a controversial incident in October 2010 when, 3 days after pulling out of the Republic of Ireland's Under 19 squad due to an ankle injury, he played and scored twice in a First Division fixture against Shelbourne. The League of Ireland Participation Agreement states that if a player is not released for international duty, he cannot play for his club during the five days after that duty. The FAI cleared Derry of any breach, however, declaring that "by the time [McEleney] had recovered from the injury, he was no longer required to fulfil his international duties and so he was eligible to play for Derry City."[10][11]

In 2011, McEleney made a further 34 league appearances as Derry finished third on their return to the Premier Division. He also won the League Cup as Derry beat Cork 1-0 in the final at Turner's Cross. In May 2012, McEleney scored a penalty in the final of the Setanta Sports Cup against Crusaders,[12] however Derry ultimately lost in the shootout.[13] Later in the year he was a member of the team who won the FAI Cup, playing 59 minutes in their 3-2 defeat of St. Patrick's Athletic in the final.[14]

McEleney featured in the UEFA Europa League with Derry City on a number of occasions. He played against Trabzonspor in the second qualifying round in 2013, and the following year he scored in Derry's 4-0 win over Aberystwyth Town in the first qualifying round. He also subsequently played against Shakhtyor Soligorsk in the second qualifying round.[15][16] McEleney shone as Derry City reached the 2014 FAI Cup Final,[17] however on this occasion they lost to St. Patrick's Athletic. He made his 200th appearance in all competitions for Derry in a 4–2 loss against Bohemians on 24 July 2015. At the end of 2015, McEleney was unable to agree a new deal with Derry and his contract expired.[18]


Despite interest from Peterborough United, Brentford[19] and St. Patrick's Athletic,[20] McEleney signed a 2-year deal with Dundalk in December 2015, linking up again with his former boss Stephen Kenny.[21] He was primarily signed as a replacement for the departed Richie Towell who moved to Brighton and Hove Albion.[22] Due to the fact that McEleney was under the age of 24 at the time, Dundalk had to pay a fee of €28,000 to Derry in compensation, a fee equal to one year of the player’s gross salary.[23] McEleney marked his home debut with a goal during a 3-0 defeat of Finn Harps.[24] He picked up a groin injury after just his fourth game for the club and a hamstring injury sustained during his comeback put him out for longer, with McEleney noting that it took him until the mid-season break to gain full fitness.[25][26] Following this, McEleney appeared in all 6 of Dundalk's UEFA Champions League qualifying ties, playing a particularly crucial role in the 3-0 defeat of BATE Borisov in the third qualifying round second leg after coming off the bench for the injured Ronan Finn.[27][28]

International career[edit]

McEleney played for the Northern Ireland Under-16 team[29] before later representing the Republic of Ireland at youth level. He represented the Republic of Ireland at Under-17 level seven times and scored on his debut against Bulgaria in a 2-0 win at the Ovcha Kupel Stadium in August 2008.[30] McEleney progressed to the Republic of Ireland Under-19 team in September 2009, making his debut against the Netherlands at the Carlisle Grounds in the Clarion Hotel Four-nation Tour.[31] He went on to make a further 3 appearances for the Under-19s.[32][33] McEleney has since indicated that he has agreed to make himself available for Northern Ireland again after consulting with Michael O'Neill.[34]

Personal life[edit]

McEleney is from the Shantallow area of Derry city.[35] His father, Henry, was also a footballer, playing for Coleraine in the Irish League.[36] Furthermore, McEleney's older brother, Shane, is a centre back for League of Ireland club St Patrick's Athletic, having previously spent the rest of his career alongside Patrick at Derry City. Like Patrick, Shane has featured at youth level for the Republic of Ireland and recently switched allegiance to Northern Ireland, playing and scoring for the under-21 team in August 2012 against Hungary.[37][38]

McEleney was a ballboy at Derry City during Stephen Kenny's first stint in charge of the club and was watching from the stands when they knocked out IFK Gothenburg and Gretna in the 2006-07 UEFA Cup qualifying rounds.[39] In 2015, an Italian football fan travelled 5,000 km to watch Derry City play and obtain McEleney's autograph after managing the club in PC videogame Football Manager.[40]


Derry City


  1. ^ "Players profile on". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  2. ^ "Players profile on". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  3. ^ " - Under-19 - McEleney". UEFA. Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  4. ^ "Sunderland sign star young stopper". Sunderland Echo. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Duffy, McEleney hope to emulate Gibson". Derry Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "McEleney happy to 'stay at home'". Derry Journal. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Derry sign up first four players". BBC. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Premier League clubs and Celtic interested in McEleney". BBC. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  9. ^ "Hoops and Sligo dominate PFAI nominations". RTÉ Sport. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  10. ^ "BBC Sport - Football - Derry City cleared over Patrick McEleney eligibility". BBC Online. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  11. ^ "Derry City cleared over Patrick McEleney eligibility". Bristol News. Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  12. ^ "Crusaders lift Setanta Sports Cup trophy". 12 May 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  13. ^ "Gareth McKeown was the hero as Crusaders won the Setanta Sports Cup, after a penalty shoot-out". RTÉ Sport. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  14. ^ "@ home with Patrick McEleney". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  15. ^ "Derry 4-0 Aberystwyth". Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  16. ^ "Uefa Europa League - Patrick McEleney". Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "'We know what it takes' - Derry City's Patrick McEleney confident ahead of FAI Cup final". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  18. ^ "Patrick McEleney: Derry City midfielder moves to Dundalk". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  19. ^ "Dundalk's bonus territory brings welcome boost". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  20. ^ "Dundalk make two big signings as they bid to replace Richie Towell". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  21. ^ "Dundalk land McEleney and Benson". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  22. ^ "Dundalk's Patrick McEleney insists Finn Harps must not be underestimated ahead of Oriel Park clash". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  23. ^ "Pat's not going for nothing". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  24. ^ "Patrick McEleney on target as Dundalk show class". RTÉ Sport. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  25. ^ "Patrick McEleney - 'The boys here are all Monsters'". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  26. ^ "Dundalk's bonus territory brings welcome boost". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  27. ^ "Dundalk will go for it against Legia Warsaw, insists McEleney". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  28. ^ "Dundalk's bonus territory brings welcome boost". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  29. ^ "Finland v Northern Ireland". Irish FA. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  30. ^ "Match report from". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  31. ^ "Match report from". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  32. ^ "Poland beat Ireland Under-17s in friendly at United Park". Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  33. ^ "Ryan Connolly wins it for U19s". Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  34. ^ "'Trapattoni will never look towards our league' says Derry City midfielder Patrick McEleney". Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  35. ^ "DERRY CITY: Patrick McEleney explains reasons behind Dundalk move". Derry Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  36. ^ "@ home with Patrick McEleney". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  37. ^ "Derry City's Shane McEleney handed NI U21 call-up". BBC. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  38. ^ "Friendly international: Hungary U21 3-2 N Ireland U21". BBC. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  39. ^ "Patrick McEleney - 'The boys here are all Monsters'". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  40. ^ "Football Manager fan makes 5000km round Derry City FC trip after three years managing the Candystripes online". Derry Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 

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