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PROFILE: MICHAEL MCGOVERN

19 July 2016

Northern Ireland stopper reunites with former boss Alex Neil

NORWICH City earlier completed a deal to sign goalkeeper Michael McGovern on a free transfer, on a deal lasting until the summer of 2019.

A regular international with Northern Ireland since 2015, the 32-year-old joins having left Hamilton Academical earlier this summer.

He began his youth career at junior club Enniskillen Town United in his home country, prior to making the switch to Scottish giants Celtic in July 2001.

His first involvement with The Bhoys’ senior squad came as an unused substitute in a Champions League game away to Barcelona, ahead of taking in loan moves to Stranraer and St Johnstone respectively.

McGovern left Celtic in 2008 having not made a first team appearance, embarking on a one-year stint at Dundee United ahead of joining Ross County.

He quickly made the number one jersey his own, helping County to reach the 2010 Scottish Cup Final where they were eventually beaten by Dundee United.


They went one further in the Scottish Challenge Cup the subsequent season, with McGovern keeping a clean sheet in the Final as The Staggies secured a 2-0 victory over Queen of the South.

More success in that competition was to follow, the stopper once again keeping a clean sheet in the 2012 Final – this time for Falkirk as they defeated Hamilton Academical 1-0.

Such form saw him named as Falkirk Supporters Club Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year, repeating the latter accolade the following season as well as being named in the 2012-13 PFA Scotland First Division Team of the Year.

Appointed as club captain in the summer of 2013, McGovern was once again included in the PFA Scotland First Division Team of the Year for his efforts during the 2013-14 campaign.

He left Falkirk in June 2014 to sign for Scottish Premiership side Hamilton, with current City boss Alex Neil then working as their player-manager.

That October he kept a clean sheet as Accies notably earned their first win at Celtic Park in 76 years, going on to set a club record of 437 minutes without conceding a goal in the top-flight.


Upon Neil leaving to take over at Carrow Road, and defender Martin Canning’s promotion to manager, McGovern was appointed as club captain in January 2015.

Debuting for the Northern Ireland national side in May 2010, he had to wait five years for his next cap, but moved to secure his place in the starting XI during their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

Having helped Michael O’Neill’s side reach the Finals in France, McGovern was one of their stand-out players during the tournament, particularly impressing during a narrow defeat to world champions Germany.



The goalkeeper produced a string of fine saves to restrict Northern Ireland's more illustrious opponents to a 1-0 victory, ensuring his team progressed to the second round in third place on goal-difference.

Although the Green and White Army were ultimately edged out by Wales at that stage, McGovern's performances throughout the competition drew wide acclaim.



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