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Patrick McCourt

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Norwich Career: 2003 (Trial)
Current Club: Derry City (Head of Youth Academy)
Date of Birth: 16/12/1983 (Derry)
Nationality: Northern Irish


Rochdale midfielder Patrick McCourt joined Norwich on trial for the week commencing 8th September 2003 so that the Canaries could see how he performs at a higher standard.

"We'll have a little look at him and assess where we go from there," said manager Nigel Worthington who acted on a recommendation from chief scout Alan Wood."Our scout has been watching him for a while and managed to persuade Rochdale to let him out for a week to train with us. We're very grateful to them for that and now we'll just have to see how it goes." McCourt returned, as scheduled, to Rochdale at the end of the week with the Canaries agreeing to keep an eye on the situation".

At the time of the trial, the left-sided midfielder had made 66 appearances for Rochdale, 35 of which had been from the substitute's bench. Originally signed from Irish sides Foyle Harps on a YTS contract, his potential quickly persuaded the Spotland club to sign him on a 3 and a half year contract in December 2001, shortly after making his debut at Kidderminster. His first season ended with 23 appearances and 4 goals. The second year saw him plagued by injuries and a loss of form - enabling Paul Simpson to seize his place in the starting XI. 26 appearances were made but mainly from the bench.

Rochdale fans describe him as unbelievably brilliant, or frustratingly under-acheiving. 'Paddy' as he is known on the terraces is arguably the most naturally talented footballer seen at Spotland in years. He has the ability to leave his opponents for dead time-after-time, and if he can learn to deliver the killer ball, it is only a matter of time before he moves on. Blackburn were said to be watching his progress during 2002/03. He has impressed enough to earn a full international cap, coming on as substitute during Northern Ireland's 5-0 friendly defeat at the hands of Spain.

Transfer-listed by Rochdale in September 2004, McCourt was linked with a move to Macclesfield. In December 2004, he joined Scottish side Motherwell on trial. In March 2005, he joined Irish side Shamrock Rovers. Topping the Irish golascoring charts by May 2005, Bristol City were alleged to have made an offer - one that financially stricken Shamrock Rovers could not resist. In the summer, he transferred to hometown club Derry City

McCourt was later a target for Peter Grant in October 2007 with a fee said to be agreed for £75000 but this transfer collapsed after Grant's sacking.

In June 2008, West Brom had a bid of £150,000 accepted for McCourt by Derry but McCourt was uncertain about the move as he would be a reserve team player. “While we are trying to get the first team right for the Premier League, we are also looking to bring in players to strengthen the underbelly of the club,” boss Tony Mowbray told the Baggies' official website. "It's a process we started last season and Pat was one of a few players we are looking to bring in - but on our terms. These are players who, while we're trying to develop their talent, can step into the first team at any given time. However, during the club's discussions with Pat, it became clear he has other options where he feels he may have a greater opportunity to play first team football and we wish him all the best.”

Norwich then had a similar bid agreed and personal terms were believed to be bettr than those offered by The Baggies. But then Scottish giants Celtic made a move and McCourt, said to be a life-long Celtic fan, signed a three year deal with Celtic on 18th June 2008. He made his debut on 25th October 2008 in the 4-2 win over Hibs

After impressing for Northern Ireland and Celtic, Paddy eas linked in August 2011 with a shock swoop by Liverpool

He was released by Celtic at the end of the 2012/13 season having made 86 appearances and scoring 10 goals. He was linked with a move to Birmingham City by The Daily Record on 3rd July 2012 with McCourt's agent claiming he had spoken to Lee Clark. "There was also interest from other Championship clubs, sides from Turkey, Australia and America are also interested." McCourt joined Peterborough on trial on 19th July 2013 but instead signed for Barnsley on 22nd August 2013 until the end of the 2012/13 season. He is a former team-mate of Reds boss David Flitcroft, the pair having played together at Rochdale.

McCourt was released by Barnsley in May 2014 after making 23 appearances for the Yorkshire club. He then signed for Brighton on a one year deal on 19th Augsut 2014 following a successful trial.

On 23rd February 2015, he joined Notts County on loan for the remainder of the 2014/15 season. However his signing could not stop Notts County being relegated into League Two on 3rd May 2015 following a 3-1 defeat to Gillingham.

Released at the end of the 2014/15 season, McCourt signed for Luton on 1st July 2015 on a two year deal.

McCourt left Luton by mutual consent on 24th May 2016 to return to Northern Ireland. He had played 26 games for the Hatters, scoring once. "Paddy has had to face up to some personal problems in recent weeks," said boss Nathan Jones. "At the end of the season he came to me and it was soon clear that he wanted to return to Northern Ireland to be closer to his family and to play there again. It wasn't a straightforward decision for me - Paddy has done well for us, but in the end we reached an agreement and he goes with my blessing."

McCourt signed a one year contract with Northern Irish premiership side Glenavon on 19th July 2016, making his home debut on 30th July in a 1-0 win over Crusaders, However he struggled to adapt to part-time football and his contract was terminated in December 2016. On 21st February 2017, he signed for League of Ireland Premiership side Finn Harps. He announced on 13th June 2018 that he would retire in September and become Derry City's Youth Academy Chief.

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