Following the confirmation of Michael O’Neill being appointed the new manager of Northern Ireland, here is a brief resume of his time at Wigan Athletic and beyond…
His other clubs include, Coleraine, Newcastle United, Dundee United, Hibernian, Coventry City, Aberdeen, Reading, St Johnstone, Clydebank, Portland Timbers, Boston Bulldogs, Glentoran, Ayr United, Cowdenbeath (asst manager), Brechin City (manager) and Shamrock Rovers (manager)
Honours won within the game are, Northern Ireland Under 21’s (1 cap),
Northern Ireland Under 23’s (1 cap),
Northern Ireland B (2 caps),
Northern Ireland (31 caps, 4 goals),
Auto Windscreens Shield winner 1999 (Wigan Athletic)
Irish Premier League winner 2003 (Glentoran)
Irish League Cup winner 2003 (Glentoran)
County Antrim Shield winner 2003 (Glentoran)
Leagiue of Ireland championship winner 2010 and 2011 (Shamrock Rovers) (as manager)
The Setanta Cup 2011 (Shamrock Rovers)
Ray Mathias signed Michael from Coventry City on 18th September 1998 on a free transfer. This was Ray’s second attempt to sign the classy midfielder and he was well worth waiting for. Michael was a Northern Ireland International and had won 31 caps and scored 4 goals at the time of arriving at Springfield Park.
He made his League debut against Macclesfield Town at Springfield Park on 19th September 1998 in a game that resulted in a 2-0 win for the Blues. and in what was Latics’ last season at Springfield Park he made 35+1 League appearances without scoring and helped the Blues reach the play-offs.
Things didn’t work out too well for him under the managership of John Benson at the JJB Stadium but he still managed 30 League appearances and scored a couple of League goals before being released at the end of the season. On Friday 18th August 2000 he signed a short-term contract with Scottish Premier League side St Johnstone.
Since then Michael has proven to be a good man manager and has had success with every club he has subsequently managed. No doubt him winning the League of Ireland championship with Shamrock Rovers last year, their first title since 1994, helped his cause.
He follows in the footsteps of former Latics manager Bryan Hamilton who is also a former Northern Ireland manager. Other Wigan Athletic players to have played for and/or managed Northern Ireland are, Bobby Campbell, David Campbell, Roy Carroll, Billy Cook, Keith Gillespie, Phil Hughes, Peter Kennedy, Pat McGibbon, Ian Nolan, Darren Patterson and Danny Wilson.
All at TNS wish Mike all the very best of luck for the future.
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