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The Iron Vault: International Players #1

1 April 2020

Today's Iron Vault article sees us look back to an international Scunthorpe United player, who made an appearance for his country while on the books with United.

At the time of writing, in total, the Iron have had 15 full internationally capped players make appearances for their country during their time with the club, totalling 43 caps.

We start by taking a look at the man who tops the lot and by quite a distance too. Grant McCann earned 12 of his 39 full Northern Ireland caps while at the club between 2008 and 2010.

After 11 appearances and three goals for the Under-21s side, McCann made his debut to being a full international on October 6th, 2001 at 21 years, 5 months and 22 days old. Across all of his appearances, he would play for his country as a full international for 2,265 minutes, scoring four goals and assisting once.

Looking specifically while with the Iron, McCann had to bide his time to get back in the set-up after missing out on the last few games for the side while at Barnsley. The midfielder would miss the friendlies against Georgia and Scotland in 2008 and indeed would also sit out of the squad for the first two World Cup Qualifiers later that year as the side lost to Slovakia and then drew at home to Czech Republic.

However, in the international break which followed four weeks later, McCann would be named among the squad. He would miss just three further internationals he was eligible for during his time with Scunthorpe, all of which friendlies.

His caps, while at the club, were as follows...

2008-09 Oct 11, 2008 WC Qual Slovenia A L0-2
  Oct 15, 2008 WC Qual San Marino H W4-0
  Feb 11, 2009 WC Qual San Marino A W3-0
  Mar 28, 2009 WC Qual Poland H W3-2
  Apr 1, 2009 WC Qual Slovenia H W1-0
2009-10 Jun 6, 2009 Friendly Italy A L0-3
  Aug 12, 2009 Friendly Israel H D1-1
  Sep 5, 2009 WC Qual Poland A D1-1
  Sep 9, 2009 WC Qual Slovakia H L0-2
  Oct 14, 2009 WC Qual Czech Republic A D0-0
  Nov 14, 2009 Friendly Serbia H L0-1
  Mar 3, 2010 Friendly Albania A L0-1

McCann did net three times for his country while on the books at the Iron. The first came four days after his return to the side away at Slovenia where the side crashed to a disappointing 2-0 loss. Nevertheless, it was another cap for McCann and 73 minutes under his belt.

He'd get a minute less at home to San Marino, but the side would win 4-0 and he'd get a goal, only his second full senior international goal. His third would come in the reverse fixture in his next appearance as Ireland won 3-0 in Serravalle, meanwhile his assist would come in the next game, a brilliant 3-2 win over Poland.

Four World Cup Qualifier wins in a row would then be complete with a 1-0 win over Slovenia in the reverse fixture and, by now, McCann was playing full games. That was three in a row - and would become six.

His third goal for his country while with the Iron, his fourth and final in total, would come in a friendly match against Israel in August 2009 and would be his fifth full game in a row. The game finished 1-1.

World Cup qualification would continue, but Northern Ireland's form would plummet, despite beginning the new season with a 1-1 draw against Poland with McCann again playing 90 minutes, the final of that spell. Three defeats in four would follow, including in friendlies, while he wasn't included in the squad for games against Turkey and Chile in May 2010, following the side's failure to qualify for the major tournament.

McCann would leave the Iron for Peterborough United that summer and would get straight back into the squad, collecting a further 11 caps while with the Posh.

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