Before arriving at Inver Park in September 2017, Conor Devlin had already enjoyed a successful career in football both in England and Northern Ireland. Our highly rated goalkeeper came through the ranks at Manchester United as a youth player, before breaking into senior football with Hartlepool and Brentford. Devlin eventually arrived back in Northern Ireland, winning the Irish Premiership with Cliftonville on two occasions. Today, he tells his ‘Dream XI’ of players he has shared a changing room with.
GOALKEEPER: PADDY FLOOD
My good friend Paddy Flood can fill in here! Paddy had a great career at Ballyclare Comrades before a period at Inver Park in the Championship. He has now retired from football and is a stand-out performer for my GAA club, Naomh Eanna.
DEFENDER: GEORGE MCMULLAN (Cliftonville)
Skipper! George was a player I looked up to when I first came into the Irish League at Cliftonville. During my time at Solitude he was fantastic on the ball and loved a tackle. A leader on the pitch and a great person off it.
DEFENDERS: CRAIG CATHCART & JONNY EVANS (Manchester United)
My central defenders are another two players who I looked up to when I was a youngster going to Manchester United. Both were the complete modern-day defenders, strong in the air and comfortable with the ball at their feet. Coming from Newtownabbey like myself it was hard to look past them.
DEFENDER: RONAN SCANNELL (Cliftonville)
As a player, Ronan was so calm and collected on the pitch which influenced me a lot as a goalkeeper. He used every ounce of his experience and ability to read the game to his advantage, I remember he would regularly chest crosses back to me from six yards out. A class act and a goalkeeper’s dream to have in front of you!
MIDFIELDER: PAUL POGBA (Manchester United)
Our under-18’s squad at Manchester United was full of players who have since gone on to become household names, but Paul Pogba was as good back then as he is now! A player with strength, speed and skill all in abundance, I would be in awe of the things he could do.
MIDFIELDER: JEFF HUGHES (Larne)
Jeff has been phenomenal to play with since returning to Inver Park. Another player who makes all his experience count, not to mention a great range of passing and ability to read the game. It’s clear to see why he enjoyed such a successful career across the water!
MIDFIELDER: ROBBIE BRADY (Manchester United)
Robbie was in my age group when we first went over to England. A strong runner and good in the air, I’m delighted to see his career progress for both club and country in the past number of years.
FORWARD: JOE GORMLEY (Cliftonville)
I could have included some more well-known players in my forward line but I’m not sure they could score goals like Joe! I used to tell him he was the worst best footballer I’d ever seen. Unluckily for myself and the rest of the Irish League, he’s always improving and retained that goal scoring talent from our time together at Cliftonville.
FORWARD: LIAM BOYCE (Cliftonville)
Liam was a massive reason why we won as much as we did at Cliftonville. Him and Joe had a deadly partnership and scored a crazy number of goals together. Without a doubt one of the best players to grace the Irish League over the past decade and he has deservedly gone on to be a huge success in Scotland and England!
FORWARD: RAVEL MORRISON (Manchester United)
Our team at Manchester United had many players who have gone on to be established Premier League footballers, but none of them had the same raw talent as Ravel. I’m sure people have the read recent comments about him from Rio Ferdinand and other United legends…he really was as good as they say!