Proud McCormack relieved to finally hit major milestone

Alan McCormack was named man of the match on his 500th senior appearance. Picture: Pete Norton
Alan McCormack was named man of the match on his 500th senior appearance. Picture: Pete Norton

Relief and pride were the overriding emotions for midfielder Alan McCormack after he finally chalked up his 500th senior appearance during Sunday's FA Cup clash with Notts County.

The man from Dublin, whose first appearance came as a 19-year-old for Leyton Orient in 2003, has had to wait a little longer than he would have hoped following an injury-ravaged few years.

But now into his 17th season in the professional game, and having played for nine different clubs, McCormack brought up his 500th career appearance when he played 77 minutes Town's 3-1 victory over the Magpies.

"It's been a while! I've had it in the back of my mind for a long time to get it done and I knew I was quite close to it a few years ago," said the 35-year-old afterwards.

"The niggles I've been getting and the stop-start seasons I've had means it's taken a little longer than I would have liked but thankfully I've got over the line now and there's a bit of relief in it.

"Now I can think about the next milestone that I can set for myself and hopefully achieve."

McCormack produced a typically classy midfield performance on his 500th appearance, named man of the match as Cobblers eased into round three of the competition.

And he nearly marked the occasion with a goal having gone close with a couple of long-range efforts, one of which forced Magpies goalkeeper Sam Slocombe into drastic action.

McCormack added: "I was probably trying a bit too hard to score with some of my shots! I actually pictured in my head before the game celebrating and scoring the match-winning goal.

"But you've got to make contact with the ball first and get it on target and until that happens the ball isn't going to go in.

"But we got the win and I thought we were excellent from set-pieces. We dominated the first-half, we played to our strengths and they couldn't handle it.

"I think we showed why we're in such good form and winning so many games at the moment."