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Northern Ireland Under-21s ace Dane McCullough proud to follow in cousin’s footsteps by representing national side

Northern Ireland Under-21s ace Dane McCullough proud to follow in cousin’s footsteps by representing national side #Northern #Ireland #Under21s #ace #Dane #McCullough #proud #follow #cousins #footsteps #representing #national #side Welcome to Americanah Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:

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Northern Ireland Under-21s star Dane McCullough says it is a proud moment for him to be following in the footsteps of cousin Luke by moving up through the age grades at international level.

he Burnley wing-back is part of John Schofield’s squad for their upcoming back-to-back friendlies against Scotland and is in line to play a key role as the underage side look to put a couple of wins on the board.

McCullough comes from footballing pedigree in Northern Ireland, with cousin Luke having captained the Under-16s and -17s on his way to becoming a fully-fledged international, winning six caps.

The now Glentoran defender was part of the Euro 2016 squad in France, and now Dane is eager to have a similar impact by progressing from the Under-21s to the senior set-up.

“It runs in the family!” former Portadown defender Dane told the Northern Ireland Twitter account. “My family are very proud and I’m obviously very proud, too. I look up to (Luke) a lot.

“It was massive for me. This season I haven’t been playing as much but this is a massive call-up. I’ve always wanted to come to Northern Ireland Under-21s and the next step is obviously the seniors, but my concentration is on this camp and hopefully I can get some minutes, too.”

The 18-year-old has made a splash since joining Burnley from Portadown in 2020 and was an ever-present in their Under-18 team last season, making 24 appearances in the Northern Premier League.

While he hasn’t received as much exposure this season, McCullough believes he has improved his game under the new style introduced by manager Vincent Kompany and hopes that translates into a few more opportunities.

“I like attacking and defending. Obviously full-backs change. One of my biggest strengths is getting forward and crossing the ball, but I’m good at defending too,” he explains.

“I’ve developed my game a whole lot more at Burnley. We play a lot more football these days, so I’ve developed my game a lot more technically this year.”

Also fuelling his competitive fire is seeing the likes of Brodie Spencer and Shea Charles receive call-ups to the senior squad under Ian Baraclough, encouraging McCullough that he, too, can make it.

The defender played alongside the pair throughout the underage grades, and McCullough is confident that the manager placing faith in young players will galvanise the rest of the squad to step up their game to catch the eye of the senior manager as well.

“You see some players like Brodie, Shea – it’s massive to play with them in the Under-19s. They’re top players,” adds McCullough.

“The manager trusts them, and to see that for a young player is brilliant.”

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