Wigan Athletic old-boy returns home

Chris McCannChris McCann
Chris McCann
Former Wigan Athletic star Chris McCann turned down ‘lots of interest’ from England before electing to finish his career in his native Ireland.

The 33-year-old Dubliner – who played for Latics between 2013-16 – had been without a club after a brief spell at Oldham.

He returned to the UK last year after a successful spell in the MLS, with Atlanta United – with whom he won the MLS Cup in 2017 – and DC United, where he played alongside Wayne Rooney.

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Despite being offered terms in the EFL, McCannn has elected to pen a two-year deal with Shamrock Rovers, the club his family have always followed.

And manager Stephen Bradley says it’s a massive coup for both the club and the League of Ireland.

“You just have to look at Chris’ pedigree, where he’s played and the level he’s played at,” Bradley said.

“He recently won the MLS so he’s played at a really high level, and he’s a player we feel improves us.

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“He has a lot of really good attributes and he’s one that, once he became available, we were really keen to get done.

“He’s a player that improves us as a team and as a squad and makes us better.

“He had a lot of interest in England and he had a lot of offers but his family are lifelong Shamrock Rovers fans.

“He’s been to games when he’s come home from England and when he was younger. He’s watched us play the last 12 months or so and really liked how we play.

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“Once we spoke to him, he knew a lot about us to be fair to him. It was just about getting it moving and thankfully we were able to get it done.

“You have to be careful when you’re looking at players from abroad, especially ones who have had good careers like Chris.

“But when you speak to people who know him, people who have coached and managed him, you get a real sense of what he’s about.

“And then when you speak to him it only takes you a few minutes to see that he’s a proper man and wants to do it right.”

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McCann’s versatility – he covered left-back and centre-half as well as midfield during his Latics days – make him an even more valuable acquisition.

“He’s played in a number of positions,” added Bradley on the club’s official website.

“In the MLS he played left wing-back, he’s played left-back, centre-half and in midfield so that shows his quality.

“He’s game intelligent and has so many attributes that fit what we do and he brings a lot of experience, know-how and quality so I’m delighted.

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“He’s that experienced professional who has played at a really high level in his career, and he’ll bring that with him to us. That can only be a positive.”

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