The former Newcastle United player who's quietly become a role model for future internationals

Shane Ferguson didn’t quite establish himself as a first-team regular at Newcastle United – but he went on to become a fixture for his country.

And the Rotherham United winger has been held up as a role model by Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill, now in his second spell in charge of his country.

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O’Neill name-checked 31-year-old Ferguson – who made seven league starts for Newcastle – when asked about his decision to call up uncapped Everton defender Isaac Price.

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“I was very impressed by how he played (in an Under-21 game), hence his inclusion,” said O’Neill, himself a former Newcastle player. “Those are the little things that as an international manager excite you. The first time around, I didn’t feel I had young players like that.

“If I look back, the equivalent of that was probably Shane Ferguson trying to break through at Newcastle. Shane’s gone on to earn over 50 international caps – and that’s hopefully what these boys aspire to as well.”

Former Newcastle United winger Shane Ferguson.Former Newcastle United winger Shane Ferguson.
Former Newcastle United winger Shane Ferguson.