Matchday Magazine RTID caught up with defender Luke McCullough who joined the club after being released by Manchester United.
Luke, tell us a little bit about how you started in football and where you are from.
I started playing in Portadown, Northern Ireland for the local team, Loughall Youth, and then when I was 14 I moved to Dungannon Swifts and played a little bit in their first team when I was 15. I also played for Northern Ireland Under 16s which is where the Man Utd scout spotted me. I went over for a trial and it all moved on from there really. I kept coming over every week until I was 16 and then I became a full time scholar.
What was it like playing for a club like Man Utd?
It was like a dream! It would have been a dream to come across and play for any club but to play for Man Utd was a great bonus. It is one of the best places to learn the trade; everyday you learn from the players and staff that are there. Hopefully, it will have stood me in good stead for the rest of my career.
Did you ever get chance to play in the first team while you were there?
No, I didn’t get to play but I quite often trained with the first team. When you move up to the reserves in Man Utd, you work very closely with the first team.
That must have been overwhelming with some of the names that they’ve got there.
Yes, it was at the start but you realise that you can’t dwell on that and you have to realise you’re just another player like the rest of them. You have to focus in training and show what you can do with it.
What happened after you left United?
After they released me, I was free to look around at other clubs. I went to a few and then I heard that Doncaster would like to have a look at me and it just went from there really. I haven’t looked back as I’ve enjoyed every minute since I’ve been here.
What are your first impressions of the manager and the club?
The manager seems to have a good plan and he wants the boys to keep improving and raise the bar. The lads have also been very friendly and made me feel welcome. There seems to be a good team spirit amongst the lads as well.
What was the pre-season like?
It’s was tough but the manager said that it’s going to stand us in good stead and it will be worth it. It’s good to have that good base under your belt for the rest of the season.
He worked you very hard in Portugal and then you played a game out there. What was it like in the heat there?
It was hard but when you’re tired you have to concentrate a lot more so you get a lot more out of the game when you’re tired and playing against players that are used to the heat. I think we will have learnt quite a lot and it will have helped with our fitness to be able to compete in the challenge of the Championship.
How would you describe yourself as a player?
I like to pass the ball out from the back. I like to play football even though I’m a centre half but I’m a defender first and foremost. I want to try and keep as many clean sheets as I can. That’s my main job.