Niall hungry for success at Linfield – by Roy McGivern
Young full back Niall Quinn this week spoke to Look at Linfield about his career to date with the club and his aspirations for the future. The 21 year old from Glengormley with the cultured left foot has come up through the ranks at Windsor Park and recently signed a new two year extension to his contract. After making his debut against Glentoran at the end of the 2011/12 season, Quinn has established himself as a regular in the first team squad and has made a total of 74 appearances for the club.
“I was really pleased to sign the contract extension and I think it is credit to the club that they moved quickly to secure the futures of myself and the other young players. It is a massive compliment to us as players that the club has offered contracts at an early stage to prevent other clubs from coming in. It was a great gesture by the club and one that I was only to delighted to accept.”
Niall has picked up one senior medal so far in his Linfield career, a County Antrim Shield winner’s medal from last year’s final against Crusaders. It is something that he is desperate to build on in the future.
“I joined this club to be successful and to win major honours so it has been a bit frustrating that we haven’t won the League or the Irish Cup in the past few seasons. I have only one medal to show for my efforts so far and myself and the rest of the team are desperate to push on now for the rest of the season and to win one of the major trophies.”
Tuesday’s 1-1 draw away to Ballinamallard was a frustrating result for the Blues and it leaves them six points behind league leaders Crusaders with a game in hand.
“I don’t think that we were good enough on Tuesday night and were maybe fortunate to get a point in the end. We just have to move on from this and try to get a good result against Ballymena on Saturday. It was just one of those nights when we never really got going and the number of chances we created was very limited. I don’t think that we looked like scoring in the second half and it was disappointing to concede a soft goal. There is still a long way to go in this title race and we still have to face Crusaders at home after the split.“
Manager Warren Feeney has of course added to the squad during the January transfer window and Niall has been impressed with the new recruits.
“I think that both players have settled in very well. Glenn Belezika looked very assured at centre back on Tuesday night and there is no doubt that Grant McCann is a very special player. He is very good technically and will obviously bring some real quality to the squad."
After missing out in many of the early games this season Niall came back into the team for the County Antrim Shield tie against Dundela and has been virtually ever present since then. He realises, however, that there is constant pressure to perform at Linfield with other players always ready to step into the side.
“I have tried to be as consistent as possible since coming back into the side but Matty Clarke has been pushing hard as well for the left back position. That is just the way things are at Linfield and it motivates you to do your very best in every game.”
Niall was introduced to the first team by former manager David Jeffrey but has adjusted well to life under the new boss Warren Feeney.
“Many of the players worked under David but the new manager has come in with different ideas and I have enjoyed working with him and Andy Todd. I think Alfie Wylie has also helped the new management team to integrate into the club. We know that Warren has enjoyed a successful career in full time football and he is determined to bring success to Linfield. I hope that I can play my part in that success and we will all be doing our utmost to make it happen this season.”
We wish Niall and the rest of the players all the best for Saturday’s game against Ballymena and hopefully they can secure three points to get the club’s title challenge back on track.