Singleton dreams of full time football

James Singleton celebrates his goal on Saturday against Dungannon and now looks ahead to playing for Northern Ireland U21s.
James Singleton celebrates his goal on Saturday against Dungannon and now looks ahead to playing for Northern Ireland U21s.

James Singleton is hoping his selection on the Northern Ireland under 21 team will provide a springboard for full time football.

The 20-year-old Glenavon defender along with team-mate Joel Cooper are in the squad to face Macedonia in a Euro qualifier at Mourneview Park on Tuesday night.

Singleton played the full 90 minutes for Jim Magilton’s side in the 1-1 draw in Iceland in September.

“It’s fantastic to be involved in the squad,” said James. “I was in the squad for the game against Scotland which was a great experience and then played against Iceland. I must admit I was a bit nervous ahead of the game. It’s a different feeling than say turning out for Glenavon. You are representing your country and you want to do well and not make a mistake.

“I think I did ok against Iceland and would love to get the nod again next week against Macedonia. We need to get a win to keep out hopes of qualifying alive. Hopefully Joel will get on also.

“The senior team are doing well and it would be great if the under 21s could also qualify.”

Since breaking into the Glenavon team as a teenager two years ago James has firmly established himself as one of the top defenders in the league. He is hoping playing at this level for Northern Ireland will put him in the shop window. Scouts are always at these games and sometimes you just need that lucky break to get that dream move.

“I have always wanted to play full time football and I will always aim for it until I stop playing,” added James. “I love being at a club like Glenavon who have given me the chance to play in the Irish League and they are a club that help develop and encourage young players.”

Another local player has been drafted into the squad, Waringstown’s Chris Johns, now goalkeeper with Bangor, was brought in at the weekend.