By Andy Hyslop
- Northern Ireland book their place at Euro 2016 with 3-1 win over Greece
- Defender McNair took his place in starting line-up
- McNair was joined by United academy graduates Cathcart, Evans and Norwood in the starting line-up
From George Best, Sammy McIiroy, Norman Whiteside to McNair, Cathcart, Norwood and the Evans brothers. They all have one thing in common; Manchester United.
Northern Ireland last night booked their place at Euro 2016 in the summer. The countries first major tournament since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. McIiroy and Whiteside were in the squad for the 1986 finals.
While the greatest Irishman to play for United; George Best. Was never fortunate enough to appear at a major International tournament. Paddy McNair will join several of his Old Trafford team-mates in taking part at the European Championships in the summer.
McNair, is likely to be joined in that squad by Jonny Evans. Who left United to join West Brom in the summer. Evans was replaced in the starting line-up by McNair last night. As Evans missed out due to injury.
Cathcart, Corry Evans and Norwood all failed to make a senior appearance at United but have all gone on to forge a good career in football. Like many of United’s academy graduates, they may not make it at Old Trafford but will be good professionals.
Cathcart, had several seasons playing for Blackpool after leaving United, playing in the premier League for the seasiders. Cathcart is now back in England’s top-flight with newly-promoted Watford, having helped them gain promotion last season.
Evans and Norwood are both plying their trade in the Championship with Blackburn and Reading respectively. Evans joined Hull on loan before moving permanently to Humberside, after a few seasons with Hull. He made the move to Blackburn.
After a few spells away from Old Trafford, Norwood made the move to Huddersfield Town, becoming an ever-present in their side before making the move to Reading at the start of last season.
Both Evans and Norwood will hoping to build on their success with the national team by helping their clubs challenge for promotion to the Premier League
We could see Northern Ireland fielding five academy graduates from United in the summer plus former United goalkeeper Roy Carroll will also be hoping to be in the squad and the starting eleven come their opening game of the European Championships