Northern Ireland

Padraig McKissock: Homeless World Cup footballer signs for Bangor FC

Padraig McKissock Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Padraig McKissock scored more than 30 goals as Northern Ireland claimed a trophy at the Homeless World Cup in Chile in October

The shooting star of Northern Ireland's Homeless World Cup team is celebrating after signing for an Irish League side.

Padraig McKissock, 18, scored more than 30 goals as local street league players claimed the Accion Total Cup in Chile in October.

Now he is hoping his move to Championship One table-toppers Bangor will prove the springboard to further success.

"It is brilliant, I have signed until the end of the season," he said.

"I had been playing for Drumbo in the amateur league, which is a number of leagues below.

"It is really good to be playing at this level and with the chance that I could be playing in the Irish Premiership next season."

Bangor manager Garth Scates said Padraig had signed amateur forms with the club.

He said all the team's players including former Glentoran captain Colin Nixon only receive expenses and Padraig would be no different.

"He will be covered for his boots, his training gear and he will be taken to and from training," he said. "It is the same for everyone at the club."

Atmosphere

However Garth said it was an excellent opportunity for the teenager to shine.

"You can see he is a good player and a good lad and can perform as a striker or on the wing," he said.

"He doesn't give up which is great.

"We tell everyone that if you impress us you will get an opportunity, with the size of our squad if there are injuries or a suspension you will get your chance."

Another progression in Padraig's development will come on Saturday when he tastes the big-match atmosphere during Bangor's Irish Cup sixth round tie against Irish Premiership leaders Crusaders.

The game has a certain symmetry, as he was first introduced to the Clandeboye Park crowd in November, as a member of the victorious Northern Ireland Homeless World Cup team.

That was the night of Bangor's League Cup quarter-final triumph against the north Belfast side and they will be hoping he proves a lucky charm again.

"Padraig will be down for the match on Saturday against Crusaders," Garth Scates added.

"He will take part in the warm-up before the Irish Cup game, it will be another experience for him that he will not have had before."

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