Sports

Green light with Blues

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

TWO of Newry's hottest footballing talents have secured another season with Belfast giants Linfield after winning the league in their first season at the club.
Jody McGovern, a former youth player with Newry City, and a multiple winner with his GAA club Newry Shamrocks, helped Linfield lift the Northern Ireland U17 league.
At Linfield McGovern teamed up with fellow St Paul's High School Bessbrook team-mate Mark McCabe and the duo forged a formidable partnership to help clinch the title.
McCabe, also an excellent gaelic footballer with Shane O'Neill's, banged in 16 goals in 24 games for the Blues, while McGovern who is a tough tackling, hard working midfielder with an eye for the net, scored nine goals from 28 games.
McGovern insists that the move to the Belfast club has helped improve his game since playing U16 with Newry City.
“It is great the level has improved since I left Newry and it feels good. It is a huge step up, the intensity and how quick the game is played and the physical end of it is a huge step up too," said McGovern.
“We have been told that we are staying for another season at least but at the end of next season we will find out if we'll be kept on or released. So I'll be playing U19 next year for Linfield and hopefully a wee bit of Reserves."
McCabe had a bad injury, which curtailed his season, but he proved he can play at a higher level and possess a good attitude and shows dedication
As well as winning the league they also won the league and have appeared for U19 Youth team and Reserves.
Both were involved in yesterday's (Monday) NIBFA Cup Final and will compete in the National League Cup Plate Finals on Saturday.
McGovern explained how he has had to make tough choices in order to play at the top level of his age-group.
This season he has had to juggle playing for Linfield, MacRory Cup gaelic football with St Paul's Bessbrook, gaelic football with U16 Down Championship winners Newry Shamrocks, and has recently made his debut for Newry Shamrock Seniors in the Down All-County League.
"It is hard to fit in and usually means I am playing football five days a week. There is a lot of sacrifices I have to make," he said.
“I had to not play at the start of the season for Shamrocks in order to finish the season with Linfield and it is not something I wanted to do, but they are tough choices that I have to make. And it is worth it after you win trophies.
Despite being one of the best gaelic footballers at his age, he didn't make the cut for current Down Minor team but he is concentrating on winning more trophies with Linfield over the next seven days and then forcing his way into the Shamrock's senior team.
“I came into Shamrocks seniors and I am happy to play for my club for the rest of the season," he said.
McGovern isn't the only Shamrocks club player at the Belfast football club as former senior Shamrock's star Mark Haughey has come back from injury to have an outstanding season with Linfield under former boss David Jefferies.

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