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Ciaran's joy

Posted on 8 June 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Jet-lagged and drained, Ciaran Toner was still basking in the glow of the best week of his footballing career when he touched down on home soil from the Czech Republic on Thursday.<P class=MsoNormal>It all started last week when our versatile midfielder was named captain of Northern Ireland Under-21s and he led from the front at Windsor Park in a fine 1-1 draw against Bulgaria.<P class=MsoNormal>That performance certainly caught the eye of senior boss Sammy McIlroy who called both Ciaran and Sean Holmes into his squad for the World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic on Wednesday.<P class=MsoNormal>Ciaran, still just 19, then sat on the bench as a brave display by the Ulster outfit ended in a 3-1 defeat.<P class=MsoNormal>Ciaran, who also made the bench in the Premiership in May, admitted: &ldquo&#59;I said that the season couldn&rsquo&#59;t get any better but it has. Getting onto the bench for the senior squad was unbelievable. It made me feel very proud.<P class=MsoNormal>&ldquo&#59;It&rsquo&#59;s all about performing well for the Under-21s and hopefully the manager will give you a chance. I was given that chance. It&rsquo&#59;s great he&rsquo&#59;s prepared to give youth a chance.<P class=MsoNormal>&ldquo&#59;Captaining the Under-21s was brilliant. It was nice to see that the manager felt I could handle that.<P class=MsoNormal>&ldquo&#59;He spoke to me the day before and asked how I would feel to be captain and I said it would be brilliant. I had no problems with that at all. There is nothing better than walking out as captain.<P class=MsoNormal>&ldquo&#59;There were rumours after the senior squad&rsquo&#59;s game that a couple of players would be called in.We weren&rsquo&#59;t actually told officially until after the Under-21 game. It took a while to sink in.<P class=MsoNormal>&ldquo&#59;It was nice to meet up with them, get out there, warm up&nbsp&#59;with them and sit on the bench for my country at the age of 19. It was unbelievable.<P class=MsoNormal>&ldquo&#59;It has capped the last couple of months. I&rsquo&#59;ll have to try and top it next season. If I keep working hard then hopefully I can continue that progress.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>