Aaron McEneff

Aaron McEneff (born 9 July 1995) is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Shamrock Rovers in the League of Ireland Premier Division.[1]

Aaron McEneff
Personal information
Full name Aaron McEneff
Date of birth (1995-07-09) 9 July 1995 (age 25)
Place of birth Derry, Northern Ireland
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Shamrock Rovers
Number 10
Youth career
Don Boscos
Maiden City
2011–2013 Institute
2013–2015 Tottenham Hotspur
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2015–2018 Derry City 82 (25)
2019– Shamrock Rovers 30 (10)
National team
2012 Northern Ireland U17 2 (0)
2013–2014 Northern Ireland U19 6 (0)
2015 Northern Ireland U21 0 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:42, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12:51, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

McEneff was born in Derry and played youth football with Institute and Tottenham Hotspur before starting his professional career with Derry City.

McEneff has been capped at U21, U19, and U17 level with Northern Ireland.

Early lifeEdit

McEneff was born in Derry and grew up in the Cornshell Fields estate in the city.[2][3] He attended St. Columb's College while playing youth football for Don Boscos and Maiden City Academy.[4] He has two brothers, Nathan and Jordan. Jordan is currently a youth team player at Arsenal.

Club careerEdit

Early careerEdit

McEneff began his career at Institute, playing in the NIFL Championship. He had trials with Kilmarnock and Tottenham Hotspur in early 2012 before impressing for the latter in a youth game against Aston Villa and being snapped up on a two-year scholarship deal in May 2012. Tottenham Technical Director at the time, Tim Sherwood, remarked that McEneff reminded him of "a young Roy Keane."[5] His international clearance did not arrive until January 2013 and he was only allowed to begin playing competitive games after this.[citation needed] He progressed well enough to earn a one-year professional deal in summer 2014, although a long-term knee injury that saw him miss four months at the start of the 2014–15 U21 Premier League season stunted his progress.[citation needed] He regained his place in the U21 side, however his contract wasn't renewed and he was released in June 2015.[citation needed]

Derry CityEdit

McEneff went on trial with Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday before he returned to his hometown club Derry City to sign an 18-month contract under manager Peter Hutton on 30 July 2015. McEneff made his league debut for Derry in a 2-0 home defeat to Dundalk on 14 August 2015. Initially, McEneff found his form was inconsistent as he struggled to mentally deal with the setback of his departure from Tottenham, however his performances improved after a sustained run of games towards the end of 2015. He finished the season with 9 league appearances. He credits moving back to the League of Ireland with helping him to develop as a player and gain experience of playing real football.[6]

After gradually adapting to life at the club, McEneff established himself as a key player for Derry City. 2016 was his first full season in the League of Ireland and he made 29 league appearances scoring six goals. McEneff signed a new two-year contract extension with the club in September 2016.[7] In 2017 he scored 9 goals in 29 league appearances and also appeared in both legs of the Europa League first qualifying round tie against Midtjylland.

International careerEdit

McEneff has represented Northern Ireland at U21, U19, and U17 levels. [8] He was a member of the Northern Ireland U19 team which won the 2014 Milk Cup Elite Section, scoring the winning goal against Canada U20.[9] It was reported in August 2016 that McEneff was set to switch allegiance to the Republic of Ireland, however although he has had discussions about his future, no decision has been made and he has put his international career on hold for the time being.[5] Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill was critical of the FAI for entering into discussions with McEneff describing them as "morally poor", however Republic of Ireland U21 boss Noel King responded by clarifying that the initial communication had come from McEneff's Dublin-born father and in the end the discussions did not lead to the paperwork going through.[10]

Career statisticsEdit

Professional appearances – correct as of 27 February 2020.[11]

Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Derry City 2015 League of Ireland Premier Division 9 0 2 0 0 0 11 0
2016 29 6 5 1 3 0 37 7
2017 29 9 1 0 1 0 2[a] 1 33 10
2018 35 10 3 2 4 3 2[a] 0 44 15
Derry City Total 102 25 11 3 8 3 4 1 125 32
Shamrock Rovers 2019 League of Ireland Premier Division 27 9 5 2 1 0 4[a] 0 0[b] 0 37 11
2020 2 0 0 0 0 0 0[a] 0 0[b] 0 2 0
Shamrock Rovers Total 29 9 5 2 1 0 4 0 0 0 39 11
Career Total 131 34 16 5 9 3 8 1 0 0 164 43
  1. ^ a b c d Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  2. ^ a b Appearances in Leinster Senior Cup


  1. ^ "Player profile". Extratime.ie. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  2. ^ Collins, Simon. "Jordan McEneff 'excited' about future after signing Arsenal deal". Derry Journal. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  3. ^ Fallon Verbruggen, Ferdia. "Aaron McEneff signs for Derry City". Extratime.ie. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  4. ^ McLaughlin, Kevin. "Premiership Bound". Londonderry Sentinel. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b Blake, Ben. "Former Spurs youngster beginning to fulfil his potential in the League of Ireland". The42.ie. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  6. ^ Fennessy, Paul. "'Ultimately, I don't think I was ready to go into Tottenham's first team". the42.ie. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Duo sign new deals". derrycityfc.net. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  8. ^ McLaughlin, Kevin. "McEneff switches to Republic of Ireland". Londonderry Sentinel. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  9. ^ Holmes, Logan. "Aaron McEneff Of Tottenham Scored Winner In NI Milk Cup". Hotspur HQ. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  10. ^ McDonnell, Daniel. "Republic U21 boss hits back at Northern Ireland's O'Neill in poaching row". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Northern Ireland – A.McEneff". ie.soccerway.com. Retrieved 27 February 2020.

External linksEdit