Teenage defender Barry Maguire could be latest gem off Motherwell FC production line

Barry Maguire had a composed first team debut for the Steelmen in Perth (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Barry Maguire had a composed first team debut for the Steelmen in Perth (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

Scotland under-21 internationals Chris Cadden and Allan Campbell are now not the only young stars making a mark in the Motherwell first team.

Debutant centre back Barry Maguire (19) produced an assured display in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against St Johnstone in Perth, remaining composed throughout and not looking out of place amid the hurly burly of Scottish senior football’s top division.

Indeed, ’Well gaffer Stephen Robinson was so impressed with the confident teenager’s display that he said post match that Maguire could even be in line for a sensational starting spot in this Saturday’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen at Hampden.

“Hopefully I’ll be in the reckoning for the semi-final,” Maguire said.

“It would mean a lot if I was picked, considering how far I’ve come.

“If I do I do and if I don’t, I just need to keep working hard to try and get into the team.

“I’ll just need to keep my head down and focus on the next game which is the semi-final, so I’ll just need to hope for the best.

“I’m ready anyway so I’m looking forward to it. If I get my chance I’ll take it.

“I’m sure whatever the gaffer goes with, we’ll still go into the game confident enough to win it.”

Maguire – who started in Perth as defensive regular Charles Dunne was injured – only found out he’d be starting during the coach journey to McDiarmid Park.

Maguire, whose ’Well deal expires on May 31, said: “Coming up to the game the gaffer said: ‘Young boys get a chance’ and if he gave it just to take it with both hands.

“I’m delighted that he gave me my chance so I’m buzzing about it.

“The game was really good. It was a bit scrappy to start with, I was just getting settled into it. But the boys were talking to me the full game.

“Tom (Aldred, Motherwell central defender) was looking out for me a lot and Carl (McHugh, captain) as well was making sure I was in the right place at the right time.

“I’m just glad it went well.

“We could have nicked a victory at the end there.

“We had a good few chances, unlucky, the surface played a part a few times.

“But we’ll just take the point and move on. The boys are very keen to get seventh place. Money aside, it’s what it means to the club and fans, it’s massive.”

Maguire, who is in his third year at Fir Park after initially joining the under-17 side, earned his first team bow after a fine season with Motherwell’s under-20s.

“I’ve been having a good season with the under-20s,” he added.

“I’m not getting ahead of myself. I take every game as it comes.

“A lot of people say to me that I’m two footed, have good fitness as well and have a good general understanding of my position.”