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Ambassador Spotlight: Niall Logue

Niall’s path to professional football can now be considered a ‘common’ one, but a route that many players who aren’t familiar with the college system, tend to frown upon. Theres a stigma around junior college football (soccer) from those who aren't 'in the know'.

Niall was a member of Institute FC in Northern Ireland back in 2013 prior to heading ‘across the pond’. Embarking on his American journey he found himself at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona, which is a junior college (2-year community college) competing in the NJCAA.

In 2015, Logue was named an NJCAA first team All-American, meaning he was one of 11 players to be selected as the best in the NJCAA in 2015. In 2014, as a freshman he was named in the 2nd team All-American, making him one of the best 22 players in the USA, that season. These accolades, coupled with his on-field performances, and strong academic scores allowed him to transfer to NCAA D1 powerhouse, Ohio State University.

The ‘Buckeyes’, from Columbus, Ohio play in the Big Ten conference and have around 60,000 students in attendance. As a junior (in his 3rd year of studies in the USA, 1st year at Ohio) Niall started in 18 of the 19 games for the Buckeyes, collecting 1 assist in an 5-13-1 season. He also was selected as ‘Newcomer of the Year’.

His Senior year (4th and final year of studies in the USA) Niall started in all 19 contests for Ohio State, racking up a team-high 1,704 minutes of action. He managed to punch in 2 goals and help usher 8 clean-sheets, in a 8-10-1 season. Niall was selected to the Second Team All-Ohio for his performances.

Upon graduation, Niall headed back home to and managed to secure himself a contract with Derry City in the League of Ireland. “Going back home to play was a big deal, I always wanted to play in the League of Ireland”.

After a few appearances for Derry (477 minutes of action), he was loaned to Finn Harps, where he made a name for himself and ended up signing permanently for the 2019 campaign. Making 25 appearances and scoring once.

The successful 2019 campaign opened some doors back over in the States for Niall, and it wasn’t long before the USL came calling with FC Tucson from Arizona picking up Logue for their USL League 1 campaign.

“It’s a club that has everything in place to succeed at the highest level and in my opinion, it won’t be a League One club much longer. The club has aspirations to move up and it has all the tools to do so. It’s very professional and run probably better than half the LOI (League of Ireland) clubs if I’m being honest."

In FC Tucson’s 2020 season, Niall made 16 appearances and logged 1,440 minutes of action in a stellar season for the Tucson. He averaged 81.4% pass completion with a 90.5% pass completion in his own half of the field. A tackle success rate of over 2/3’s and a winning aerial dual percentage of 62.8%. He made 63 clearances, 14 blocks and 17 interceptions. Did we mention American’s love stats!? M

The 6ft 4, 190lb left-footed centre back earned himself a move to El Paso Locomotive for the 2021 season, in the USL Championship, one division below the MLS. With the season due to start on May 9th at home to New Mexico United, Logue may have to wait a little while longer to make his El Paso debut, as he’s nursing an injury.

“I probably won’t be ready until the end of May, still working my way back from injury. I Sprained my ankle pretty bad so be a month until I’m back I’d say unfortunately”. Rest assured he’s chomping at the bit to get back out on the pitch and show the Locos fans just what he can do.

We look forward to following Niall’s campaign in the USL Championship and wish him and the El Paso Locomotive all the best for the upcoming season!

Niall is the epitome of getting a chance and taking it. He’s worked his way through the levels and risen up the ranks to professional football in the USL. Something millions of kids can only dream about. If you want something hard enough in life, you can make it happen, and Niall is testament to that.


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