Steele earns his NI debut

Larne's Jonny Steele pictured during his Northern Ireland debut in Friday nights international friendly against Turkey. Photo: Presseye

Larne's Jonny Steele pictured during his Northern Ireland debut in Friday nights international friendly against Turkey. Photo: Presseye

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Jonny Steele made his international debut on Friday when he came on as a second-half substitute in Northern’s Ireland’s 1-0 defeat to Turkey.

The New York Red Bulls midfielder followed in the footsteps of Dave Clements, Michael Hughes, Keith Gillespie, Gareth McAuley and Jeff Hughes, becoming the latest Larne man to pull on the famous green jersey.

Steele, who replaced Aberdeen’s Niall McGinn midway through the second session, tweeted after the game: “What a feeling to represent your country! Make ur friends and family proud and get ur first cap. Don’t let anyone tell you [that] you can’t. #nevergiveup.”

The 27-year-old’s first appearance on the international stage comes after spells at a string of American clubs, and a short stint with Ballymena United. This year he became a regular in the Red Bulls starting 11, playing alongside World Cup winner, Thierry Henry.

“For me it’s only the start, getting your face in,” Steele told media in Adana before the game.

“The big picture is the Euro 2016 campaign next year.

“Playing for your country is an honour and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”