Mark joins the ranks of team McGuin­ness

Teen to fol­low the in­ter­na­tional foot­steps of dad

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

Mark McGuin­ness, 14, has been se­lected to play in two fix­tures against Tur­key at the St Ge­orge’s Park Na­tional Foot­ball Cen­tre on Mon­day and Wed­nes­day.

The Arse­nal Acad­emy young­ster cer­tainly comes from a sport­ing fam­ily, but their tal­ents are not re­stricted to the one sport.

His fa­ther, John, is cap­tain of the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional bowls team and won a sil­ver medal in the men’s fours at last year’s Com­mon­wealth Games in Glas­gow.

El­der brother Tom, mean­while, has taken to both sports, hav­ing played semi-pro foot­ball and also be­come Bucks U25 county bowls cham­pion in both the dou­bles an sin­gles.

Younger brother Sean has em­braced a fur­ther sport, play­ing cricket for Ger­rards Cross as well as lo­cal foot­ball, while mum Suzanne plays ladies cricket for Ger­rards Cross.

Proud dad John said: “Mark ac­tu­ally had both the Repub­lic and North­ern Ire­land af­ter him to play for them as he is el­i­gi­ble Eng­land.

“He’s been up to St Ge­orge’s be­fore to play some trial games against some acad­emy sides, which led to his call up, and he ac­tu­ally got a pep talk from Roy Hodg­son.

“Mark’s hop­ing to get a schol­ar­ship at Arse­nal next year, but he’s very level headed and knows that foot­ball’s a tough sport to get into, and many his age don’t make it.

“He takes ev­ery­thing in his stride though and all he wants to do is learn and play foot­ball. He has to keep up with his school work though and also does ten­nis coach­ing at Ger­rards Cross Ten­nis Club.”

As for the fa­ther him­self, John led the Eng­land bowls team to vic­tory in the Home In­ter­na­tional Se­ries in his first year as cap­tain, and hopes to build on that next year.

He added: “It’s an hon­our cap­tain­ing your coun­try. It took me 16 to 17 years of play­ing for Eng­land to get there – maybe they ran out of peo­ple to give it to!”

for

both, but he chose

Arse­nal Acad­emy and Eng­land U15 foot­baller Mark McGuin­ness; (inset) dad John in

ac­tion

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