Oxford United forward Gavin Whyte had a dream debut for Northern Ireland last night, scoring with his very first touch in international football.
Whyte came off the bench to score within two minutes against Israel and said: “It was a special moment to even get on the pitch so to score with my first touch is something I’ll never forget.
“The last six months have been amazing for me and I still can’t believe it, coming from part-time to professional football.”
United boss Karl Robinson said
“What a great moment for him. I was watching the game, hoping he got on and did well, but I am sure the goal will be a moment he’s never going to forget. He has done ever so well for us, works hard at his game and I am sure there is plenty more to come from him. I messaged him and said well done and I think Oxford United should be very proud of Gavin.”
Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill said
I'm delighted for him, it's a great start for him.
"He has come into this squad on this trip and made an impact in training certainly, so it was good to give him an opportunity to go on the pitch. And it could not have gone any better for him.
"I have watched Gavin for a number of years now in the Irish and the domestic league and you always saw a player with real talent, I kind of wished he could get the opportunity to move across to full-time football.We took him on the summer tour to give him a little bit of exposure really and he eventually gets that opportunity. He is just stronger and quicker and his talent was never in question.
"And now he's opened his international career with a goal, so that's a big plus for us."
Gavin flies back today and will be involved for the U’s when we make the short trip to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.