Sports

New NI starís Dungannon links.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

New NI starís Dungannon links. thumbnail George Saville. Photo: @MillwallFC.

THE latest new call-up to Northern Ireland's squad has family links to the Dungannon area.

George Saville, 24, has received his first invitation to join the Northern Ireland panel.

And he has gone straight into the squad for the final two World Cup Qualifying Group Stage clashes, against reigning world champions Germany this Thursday at Windsor Park and away to Norway on Sunday.

Integrated College Dungannon teacher John Leckey's mother lives in the Milltown area and her sister is the grandmother of the newest Northern Ireland star.

Born near London, George Saville was part of the Chelsea Academy and while on the books of the reigning English champions, he had a loan spell at his current club, Millwall.

Saville also spent a season on loan at Brentford before earning a move to Wolves.

He had further loan spells at Bristol City and again at Millwall before spending the entirety of last season at Wolves.

Last summer, he joined Millwall on a permanent deal and has made a big impact, including scoring a match-winning brace last week to defeat Reading, just hours after receiving his first international call-up.

Due to his family heritage from Northern Ireland, Saville is eligible to play for Michael O'Neill's Green and White Army.

And it was thanks to local Northern Ireland fans that he came to the attention of the NI manager.

When IFA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson attended a recent meeting of the First Royal Cookstown Northern Ireland Supporters' Club, former club Chairman Maurice Clements infomed him of Saville's family links, and that information was passed on to the management set-up, leading to his call-up.

And he may well have his first opportunity to make his mark on the international stage against the World Cup holders later this week.

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