James McClean speaks of his pride as his seven year-old son Junior signs for Crewe Alexandra

JAMES McClean has spoken of his immense pride after his 'football-obsessed' son Junior signed for Crewe Alexandra.
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The Ireland international and Wigan Athletic 'Player of the Year' for 2022/23 posted a photograph of seven year-old Junior signing his forms on his social media as the youngster follows in the footsteps of his famous father.

Taking the first tentative steps of his own journey to becoming a football ace, the talented Junior has clearly made a significant impression on Crewe youth coaches who offered him a two-year pre-Academy deal. It's quite the feat but bearing in mind he's grown up in a home steeped in football and given the footballing pedigree running through his veins, it won't come as a surprise to those closest to the McClean family.

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His dad stoked the flames for Junior's love of the game from a early age and his uncles, former Derry City, Sligo, Waterford and Glentoran defender, Patrick, and Brian, who plays junior football in Derry, have clearly also made an impression on Crewe's newest recruit.

Speaking to the 'Journal', father of four McClean, who is only two appearances off making it a century of caps for his country, wasn't getting carried away but he was delighted his only son has made such a 'good start' to his fledgling football career.

"Obviously as a footballer myself and as a father you can imagine how proud I am," said the Latics winger. "His coaches have offered him a two year pre-academy contract which at his age is a first because it normally happens a year older at U9 level so obviously that's pleasing.

"But he's only seven years of age so it's important not to get carried away here because the main thing, as his dad, is for him to just enjoy it and have fun and with that hopefully he progresses, but he is football obsessed so it's a good start."

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James' wife, Erin, added the hard work starts now for the youngster. Of course he doesn't have too far to look for a role model but their loyalties may be divided next season with both Wigan and Crewe playing in League Two!

"Proud of you son," said Erin. "I've seen just how hard you've worked on your football this year and it's paid off.”

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