2 August 2006

Alan Blayney

Former Northern Ireland Under-21 'keeper and winner of Sky TV's Premiership Save of the Season in 2003/04, can Alan Blayney live up to his potential?

Name: Alan Blayney
Born: 9 October 1981, Belfast
Height: 6.02 ft
Weight: 13.12 st
Position: Goalkeeper

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 5 Full Caps (2006-2011), 1 Under-23 Cap (2004), 5 Under-21 Caps (2002-2003).
Club Honours: (with Linfield) IFA Premiership Champion 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12; Irish Cup Winner 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12.
Awards: Ulster Footballer of the Year 2010/11.

Club Career:
Clubs............. --Seasons-- --Fee-- .League FA Cup FL Cup Other
Glentoran......... ........... ..Youth .0(0)/0
Southampton....... 01/02-05/06 Trainee .3(0)/0 1(0)/0
Stockport County.. 02/03...... ...Loan .2(0)/0 ...... ...... 1(0)/0
AFC Bournemouth... 02/03...... ...Loan .2(0)/0
Rushden & Diamonds 04/05...... ...Loan .4(0)/0
Brighton & Hove A. 04/05...... ...Loan .4(0)/0
Brighton & Hove A. 05/06...... ...Loan .8(0)/0
Doncaster Rovers.. 05/06...... £50,000 24(0)/0 1(0)/0 1(0)/0
Oldham Athletic... 06/07...... ...Free .2(1)/0 ...... ...... 1(1)/0
Bohemians......... 2007 ..........Free .3(0)/0
Ballymena United.. 08/09..........Free 32(0)/0 2(0)/0 2(0)/0 2(0)/0
Linfield ......... 09/10-13/14 .. Free 
Ards ............. 13/14 ........ Loan
Glenavon ......... 14/14- date .. Free

Biography:
To follow...

In January 2007 Blayney's Doncaster contract was cancelled by mutual consent. He signed for Oldham the following month after a brief trial. As of May 2007 he was a free agent. He signed with Eircom League side Bohemians in August but was released at the end of the campaign. On 15 March 2008 it was reported that Blayney had signed for Ballymena United, but would be unable to play until the following campaign as he had been signed outside of the transfer window.

On 1st of June 2009 Blayney made a long-speculated transfer to Linfield as replacement for another international, Alan Mannus. After a difficult start at Windsor Park he aided Linfield to "The Double", pulling off a few excellent saves in the 2-1 Irish Cup final win over Portadown, but also earning criticism for letting the ball slip through his hands for the Ports goal. For many the performance summed up his career to date - calamitous one moment to world class the next.

Blayney was called into the Northern Ireland squad for the first time in four years following the withdrawal of Alan Mannus from the summer 2010 Americas tour. He started both matches of the tour and retained his place in the squad at Mannus' expense at the start of the following season. An appearance from the bench in a friendly against Morocco saw Blayney concede an embarrassing goal as his clearance rebounded off an opponent to give the Africans the lead. Clearly rattled, he struggled to maintain his composure for the remainder of the game though his blushes were somewhat spared as Rory Patterson equalised through a late penalty.

Blayney helped Linfield clinch a second consecutive title, making a total of fifty, in May 2010. His performances through the following season dispelled doubts of his ability, and he was lauded as among the Premiership's players of the season. He capped the campaign as captain of Linfield's Irish Cup winning side as a second consecutive Double was completed and by claiming the Ulster Footballer of the Year award.

In May 2011 Blayney shared goalkeeping duties with Jonny Tuffey as an inexperienced Northern Ireland team endured an embarrassing Carling Nations Cup. Although left exposed by a threadbare defence, Blayney was culpable in at least two of the Republic of Ireland's goals in a 5-0 defeat. At the start of the following season Mannus was recalled as Blayney's replacement in the Northern Ireland squad.

With Linfield, Blayney continued to rack up the honours with Linfield until the signing of Jonny Tuffey in 2013 saw him fall from the first-team reckoning. In January 2014 he joined Ards on loan but couldn't help them pull away from bottom spot and relegation back to the Championship One. He then agreed a move to Glenavon for 2014/15.

Ballymena United Website
Wikipedia

Northern Ireland Cap Details:
26-05-2006 Romania..... N L 0-2 FR 
26-05-2010 Turkey...... N L 0-2 FR 
30-05-2010 Chile....... A L 0-1 FR 
17-11-2010 Morocco..... H D 1-1 FR sub 
24-05-2011 Rep. Ireland A L 0-5 CNC

Summary: 4(1)/0. Won 0, Drew 1, Lost 4.
Goals Conceded: 11. Clean Sheets 0.

Northern Ireland Under-23 Cap Details:
27-04-2005 Serbia & Montenegro H D 0-0 FR

Summary: 1/0. Won 0, Drew 1, Lost 0.

Northern Ireland Under-21 Cap Details:
12-02-2002 Germany H L 0-1 FR sub
11-02-2003 Finland H W 3-1 FR sub
05-09-2003 Ukraine A L 0-1 ECQ
09-09-2003 Armenia H W 3-1 ECQ
10-10-2003 Greece. A W 1-0 ECQ


Summary: 3(2)/0. Won 3, Drew 0, Lost 2.

Picture courtesy of Redneck Rich from the OWC forum (more here)

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