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Interviews

McLaughlin: When Fleetwood gave me a call, I didn’t have to think about it

7 October 2021

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New signing and familiar face Conor McLaughlin sat down with the club at Poolfoot Farm and spoke about his feelings regarding his return to the club.

McLaughlin, who became the club’s first international player when he played against Uruguay for Northern Ireland, re-joins the side after being part of the team in the first-ever season in the EFL back in 2012 and then went on to become one of the most-capped players since then, amassing 200 appearances for the club in all competitions.

Here’s what he had to say in his first interview:

On coming back to Fleetwood…

“When Fleetwood gave me a call and said that I could come in and get something done, I didn’t have to think about it. I had a great time when I was here before and that’s part of the reason why I’ve come back.

“There’s a new group of players, but a few familiar ones like Pondy [Nathan Pond], Youl [Mawene], Baz [Nicholson], and all so it’s good to see all of them again.

“It’s a bit strange being back but it’s good to see some familiar faces from when I was here the last time. I’m just looking forward to getting back into the swings of things and playing football again.”

On using his experiences…

“The gaffer [Simon Grayson] said for me to come in and get myself fit and hopefully get involved as soon as possible. The lads have done well in the last few weeks, and we’ve got a good squad here, with some good young players coming through the ranks as well so I will just try and help when I can.

“I’ve changed as a player, and as a person, since leaving here four years ago. Obviously, I’m older now and there are a few really good, experienced pros in the dressing room there to help the younger ones and it looks like it is all going well.

“I managed to get one of my first international caps whilst at Fleetwood – the shirt is still up in the bar. It was against Uruguay; I got my debut earlier on in my career but was the first international at the club. I’m on 44 now but I’d love to get to that number 50!”

On his fellow countrymen…

“I noticed a few familiar accents when I came back in, I was speaking to Barry Baggley and I didn’t realise he only lives two minutes away from me back home so it’s good to see.

“When I first came in, I think I was one of the only Northern Irish lads who had been at the club in a while so to see the group coming through at the moment, it’s brilliant to see.

“Sometimes it’s hard to get noticed over there but the club has been brilliant in giving them a chance and they can now push on and help the team in whatever way possible.”


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