MICHAEL McGlinchey’s Olympic aspirations may have ended in the Group Stage to eventual runners-up Brazil, but the crafty Kiwi midfielder managed to fulfil a boyhood dream at London 2012.
MICHAEL McGlinchey-s Olympic aspirations may have ended in the Group Stage to eventual runners-up Brazil, but the crafty Kiwi midfielder managed to fulfil a boyhood dream at London 2012.
McGlinchey supported English powerhouse Manchester United growing up and graced Old Trafford, colloquially known as the ‘Theatre of Dreams-, in the Oly-Whites- second game of the tournament.
With over 50,000 fans at the home of the Red Devils to see New Zealand clash with Egypt, McGlinchey said the match was a special moment not only in his football career, but his life.
“Old Trafford for me was special because I-ve supported Man United since I was a boy,” McGlinchey said. “To play at that Stadium was fantastic.”
“There were over 50,000 there so it was a great atmosphere. Both teams were going for the win so it was a great game for the fans to watch.”
McGlinchey played every minute of New Zealand-s Olympic campaign and said the opportunity to be involved in the showpiece sporting event was one he will forever cherish.
“It was fantastic,” he said. “The whole of the country was really getting behind the Olympics.
“Especially in London, we got off the plane and went the scenic route. All you could see is the Olympics all over the place.
“To be involved in that and to experience what we did was fantastic and something I-ll never forget.”
The midfielder also secured a prized piece of football memorabilia from the tournament.
After the final Group Stage match against Brazil at St James- Park, McGlinchey managed to swap shirts with an up and coming star of the Seleção.
“I got Alex Sandro-s (shirt) from Porto,” he said. “I think Costa Barbarouses got Neymar-s and he signed it, so a lot of the boys got good stuff out of it.”
Michael McGlinchey is currently in New Caledonia with the New Zealand National Team. He will return to the Central Coast Mariners late next week after two OFC FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
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