'I’m looking forward to playing for Northern Ireland' - Derry City defender Shane McEleney

The Candystripes defender has switched allegiance to Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland, despite playing underage for the Boys in Green
Derry City defender Shane McEleney has revealed his delight after declaring for the Northern Ireland international team.

The 21-year-old centre back had previously represented the Republic of Ireland at both under-19 and under-21 levels but made the decision to switch association after an approach from Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill.

“Northern Ireland came in there a couple of months ago and offered me to pledge my allegiance to them and I was more than happy to do that,” he told the Londonderry Sentinel.

The defender, whose brother Patrick McEleney is also a Republic of Ireland youth international, stated that he he wanted to play international football in order to boost his career prospects.

“I haven’t been really selected for the Republic of Ireland and I want to be playing international football, as it’s good for your CV and good for your career," he said.

"So when Northern Ireland came in there a couple of months ago I was more than happy, because as I have said I wasn’t featuring with the Republic of Ireland," he said.