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Left-back Dane McCullough, who left Burnley after three years with the club at the end of last season, has returned to his native Northern Ireland to sign for Irish Premiership leaders Linfield.

Now 19, McCullough joined Burnley from Portadown in August 2020 and spent his first two years as a scholar with the under-18s before moving up to the under-21s ahead of last season during which he spent time out on loan at Hyde United.

Having been released, he has been without a club until making this move Linfield until the end of the season and he’s delighted to have signed for them. Speaking to the club, McCullough said: “It feels great. It has been a long time coming. I’ve been without a club for three or four months now, so to get this over the line is really good.

“I like to get forward but also love to defend too. I’ve been playing academy football for a few years but now it’s time to really get into men’s football and time to let people know who I am. I’ve had a lot of chats with David (Healy, the Linfield manager) over the past few months and I was in training in July and played a game. It really suits my style of play the way he plays and I can’t wait to get started.

“Everyone knows Linfield are the biggest club in the country. It’s going to be a step up but I’m looking forward to it. It’s definitely going to be a challenge. At the end of the day, everybody wants to play in England but at this moment in time I’d love to make a name for myself in the Irish League and certainly let the fans know what I’m about. That’s what I’m here to do.”

Manager Healy said having confirmed the signing: “He spent some time with us over the summer and featured as a trialist in a pre-season game. Dane’s signing will strengthen the squad and give us more cover in the defensive positions. He will increase the competition for places within the squad and I know our supporters will welcome him to the squad.

“I’m looking forward to working with him in training and I’m sure he can make a significant  contribution over the course of his contract. He’s a promising young player who has benefited enormously from the positive experience he has gained at Burnley.”

We wish Dane all the very best at Linfield.

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