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On the eve of what could be Welsh football’s finest hour since 1958, Cardiff City Football Club would like to congratulate former Bluebird Josh Magennis on qualification with his country, Northern Ireland.
Michael O’Neill’s side have qualified for next summer’s European Championship Finals in France and will top their qualification group should they take a point or more in Finland on Sunday.
But the confirmation of their participation in EURO 2016 came on Wednesday evening courtesy of a 3-1 victory over Greece in Belfast – an historic fixture in which former Bluebird, Magennis, scored his side’s second goal.
Northern Ireland will compete in their first major finals since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. It’ll be their first ever involvement in the European Championships.
Twenty-five year old Josh joined the Cardiff City Academy in 2007 as a goalkeeper and was named amongst the Bluebirds’ substitutes in our 2007 League Cup tie at Anfield, against Liverpool. With the support of the City Academy and coaching staff, Josh reverted to being an outfield player the following season – encouraged to do so due to his pace and tenacity, particularly in the forward positions.
In 2009 he signed his first professional deal, working closely with former Reserve Team Manager Paul Wilkinson. It was ‘Wilko’ who helped mould Josh into a striker able to compete within the first-team squad, and he made his senior debut as a late substitute for Jay Bothroyd in a 4-0 opening day win over Scunthorpe United – the first competitive fixture ever played, here at Cardiff City Stadium.
Magennis made his first and only start for City against Blackpool (January, 2010)
Loan spells for Josh would follow, though on January 9th 2010 he made his first start as a Bluebird against Blackpool. Tragically, Josh was forced off after thirty-five minutes of that fixture with a fractured fibula, and but for one further substitute appearance at Derby County on the final day of the season, would not feature for Cardiff City again. He left the Bluebirds that summer and has since played in the Scottish Premier League for Aberdeen, St. Mirren (on loan) and now, Kilmarnock.
All at Cardiff City FC would like to wish Josh our Northern Irish friends the very best for the finals next summer. Hopefully, the Welsh will be joining you out there!
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