Destined for Stardom
By Sam Gamble at the Ulster Gazette
ON the face of it Armagh City forward Andrew Hoey and Manchester United teenage striker Marcus Rashford may have very little in common.
However, their paths have crossed before and the two 18 year olds, plying their trade for their hometown club are in a vein of form.
Hoey’s latest strikes came in Armagh City’s dramatic draw with local rivals Loughgall, bringing his tally to 14 for the season.
Meanwhile, Rashford has continued his dramatic rise through the ranks with 7 goals in 12 games, with important goals against Manchester City and Arsenal, since making his bow for the Old Trafford side at the end of February.
Their paths crossed in July 2014, when County Armagh took on Manchester United in what was their last appearance at the Milk Cup, now known as the SuperCupNI.
Rashford wowed the crowds at the Northern Ireland Milk Cup back in 2014 and on their way to winning the competition, Rashford netted a stunning individual goal against the Orchard County in Ballymoney on the second night of the competition.
Hoey, who started in centre midfield for Armagh on the night, admitted it was clear for all to see that they had witnessed a star in the making.
“I’m a Manchester United fan and I had heard of him even before the tournament and I did a bit of research on their squad and who they were bringing.
“The night before United had scored 11 goals and we were just simply focusing on going out and doing as best as we could.
“It was 1-0 at half-time and we were really happy with how we had got on, but then in the second half Rashford stepped it up and a gear and he beat three or four of our defenders and scored an absolute wonder-goal.”
Hoey admitted his talent was there for all to see.
“His composure, his first touch and his movement were all amazing.
“Every time he got the ball he had about five yards of space to work with and he had more time on the ball than everyone else and his rise through the ranks has come as no surprise.”
Hoey’s own form has certainly been pleasing for Armagh City manager Marty Rice and his double salvo against Loughgall last week came after a difficult week, where he lost a close friend.
“I was very friendly with Lesley-Anne McCarragher at the High School and I thought before the game that if I scored a goal I would dedicate it to her.
“In the end I was pleased to get two goals and get a point for City.”