Donaghmore’s Niall McGinn becomes the first Irish soccer player ever to join a club in Korea

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Donaghmre’s Niall McGinn has completed a move from Aberdeen to South Korean top-flight club Gwangju and becomes the first Irish soccer player ever to join a club in South Korea.

The 29-year-old, who joined the Scottish Premiership club from Celtic in 2012, rejected an offer to extend his stay at Pittodrie. He scored a fantastic goal too for Northern Ireland in the 2016 European Championships…

He has now announced on Twitter that he is looking forward to a “new chapter” and “a new, exciting challenge”.

“After five great years, I am moving on, but I will always remember my Aberdeen days very fondly,” he said.

“When I joined Aberdeen in 2012, I had no idea of the great times that lay ahead.”

After his Donaghmore and Tyrone GAA playing days, Niall McGinn played for Dungannon Swifts, Derry City and then Celtic before his move to Aberdeen. He has also been a regular with Northern Ireland, having shown impressive form throughout his career.

McGinn had a very good season with Aberdeen, in which they finished runners-up in the Premiership to Celtic and also reached the Scottish Cup and League Cup finals.

He joins Gwangju with Nam Ki-il’s side sitting bottom of the K-League Classic after 17 games of the 2017 season and admitted to the club website that he realises his new team are “in a difficult situation”.

“Since I met the club president a few weeks ago in Belfast, I have been researching Asian football and Korean football in particular,” he said.

“I have been very impressed with what I have discovered.

Niall played gaelic football with Donaghmore and Tyrone GAA as a younger player, starring as a 19 year old for the County and earning the Teamtalkmag Tyrone GAA Young Footballer of the Year ten seasons ago in 2017. That was just before his soccer took off and his career has seen him play with Dungannon Swifts, Derry City, Brentford, Celtic, Aberdeen and of course Northern Ireland.

Niall McGinn has become the first Irish soccer player to move to a Club in Korea