Printer Friendly

BROWN TO BUSINESS; Surprised Ciaron reveals whirlwind series of events that led up to his shock debut against Luxembourg; EURO 2020 QUALIFYING.

Byline: DARREN FULLERTON

CIARON BROWN thought he was hearing things when Michael O'Neill told him he would be making one of Northern Ireland's all-time shock debuts.

The Cardiff City youngster, who was born in London but qualifies through family ties to Belfast, hadn't played a minute of underage football for his adopted country.

He joined up with Ian Baraclough's U21 squad for the first time ever last week only to make his senior bow against Luxembourg.

"I got told on Wednesday I'd maybe be on the bench," said Brown, who was playing for Wealdstone just 20 months ago before securing his move to Cardiff.

"I then got told the morning of the game I would be starting and I kind of had to double check that the manager said my name. I was shocked, thinking, 'Really? Yeah?'.

"Football can move so quickly but you don't think that until it's actually happening to you."

One can only imagine the thoughts swirling around the 21-year-old's head as he stepped out for Thursday night's 1-0 friendly win at Windsor Park.

Teenagers Ethan Galbraith and Alfie McCalmont also made their debuts off the bench as O'Neill rested key players ahead of Monday's Euro 2020 clash with Germany. "I was a bit nervous before the game and walking out," said Brown. "But soon as that whistle goes and you make your first pass, it kind of leaves your body.

"Michael told me to just play my game but also enjoy it. It's your debut so enjoy it. I did and to get a win and clean sheet topped the night off.

"All the lads were great and as soon as I came off the pitch they congratulated me. The gaffer also said, 'Well done, it was a very good debut'."

Hillingdon-born Brown, who spent the latter half of last season on loan at Livingston in the Scottish g Premiership, says O'Neill didn't have to sell the Northern Ireland set-up to him.

"To be fair, my family and I have always had attachments to this country," he said. "It means so much to me and my family because they are so enthusiastic about it.

"My nan is a proper Northern Ireland girl. She moved away to Germany and then settled in London but she's never lost her Belfast ways or accent.

"I always used to go around to her house, she was always so good to me and I know she'll have been happy probably watching it at home on Sky.

"A few of my aunties and uncles were also in the stand and they were waving y g down with a big smile on their faces which told me they were proud."

With one cap in the bag, Brown is eager to stay in O'Neill's thoughts and continue to hone his centre-back instincts alongside the likes of Jonny Evans and Craig Cathcart.

"This gives me a taste of it and makes me want more but I'm just taking it step by step at the moment and trying to learn as much as I can," he said.

"Watching the likes of Jonny in training and listening to him is great because he offers some pointers. If I have to ask a question he's also more than happy to answer it, he's definitely someone I can learn from."

COME A LONG WAY Brown at Livingston last season NIGHT TO REMEMBER Ciaron Brown takes control on Thursday against Luxembourg at Windsor EURO 2020 QUALIFYING GROUP C PWD LF APTS N.Ireland 440072 12 Germany 4301156 9 Netherlands 3 2 0 1 10 5 6 Belarus 5104310 3 Estonia 4004214 0 FINAL 4 FIXTURES Monday Germany (H) Oct 10 Netherlands (A) Nov 16 Netherlands (H) Nov 19 Germany (A)
COPYRIGHT 2019 MGN LTD
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2019 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 7, 2019
Words:620
Previous Article:TRAGIC NORA TO BE BURIED IN BELFAST; Funeral of jungle death girl, 15, in mum's home city.
Next Article:HE'S A BRAITH OF FRESH AIR.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters