Jim bidding for revenge at Brechin
REVENGE is a dish best served cold and Jim Magilton is still looking to get one over on Brechin boss Michael O'Neill after 25 years.The Blues boss can still remember the pain of losing an Under-11s Northern Ireland Schools Cup Final for St Oliver Plunkett's against O'Neill's All Saints, Ballymena team, even though the pair went on to become firm friends.
By Derek Davis
REVENGE is a dish best served cold and Jim Magilton is still looking to get one over on Brechin boss Michael O'Neill after 25 years.
The Blues boss can still remember the pain of losing an Under-11s Northern Ireland Schools Cup Final for St Oliver Plunkett's against O'Neill's All Saints, Ballymena team, even though the pair went on to become firm friends.
Magilton said: “We lost 1-0 and I can remember leaning over a railing sobbing my heart out and refusing to go and get my medal. I did not want a loser's medal and Micky and others came over but I shrugged them away.
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“Micky has told that story so many times since and won't let me forget, but I would remember anyway.”
The duo, whose dads played for the same GAA team, went on to become schoolboy international team-mates and then went into professional football with O'Neill starting at Newcastle United after leaving Ireland.
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Now both have started their first managerial jobs aged 37, although O'Neill was an assistant at Cowdenbeath before going to Glebe Park, and Magilton is delighted to take a strong team to Brechin for their centenary match tomorrow night. He said: “We go way back and I'm delighted to be able to help him out like this, while also helping ourselves.
“Michael is a great guy and like me starting out as a manager, but has some very strong ideas and I wish him all the best.”
The Blues intend to use this game to wash the Colchester United defeat away and also to prepare for the West Brom game next week.
Magilton said: “We didn't want to go a full two weeks without a match and it was always planned that we would play in this October break.
“It gives one or two a chance to play that might not otherwise and it is a chance for them although the senior players will be involved.”
Sadly Ian Miller misses out after breaking his nose and needing stitches after an accidental collision with team-mate James Krause on Tuesday while Mark Noble has not made the trip as he eases a stiff back.
Former Newcastle United winger Martin Brittain is included and could start along with Dean Bowditch.