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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Gareth Fullerton

Brazilian winger called Neymar driving Co Down football club's promotion push

Ever wondered if Neymar could do it on a cold and windy night in Lurgan?

Well, you will find your answer in the colours of a Co Down football team.

FC Mindwell currently play in Division Two of the Mid Ulster League and are gunning for their third successive promotion.

Read more: Football Focus casts spotlight on Co Down football club's mental health work

Former Manchester United and Northern Ireland star Keith Gillespie is heavily involved with the club, which was set up during lockdown to help men with mental health.

Mindwell manager David Dawson has assembled an impressive squad, including a flamboyant Brazilian winger who has brought a bit of Samba flair to Mid Ulster.

And he has the name to compliment the skills - he's called Neymar.

FC MIndwell featured on Saturday's episode of Football Focus on BBC.

Ahead of a league game against Gilford Crusaders, the BBC's Rick Faragher asks manager Dawson who they should be keeping an eye on.

"The two wide players...Wee Frankie and Neymar," Dawson smiles.

"Neymar joined us at the start of the season. He wasn't happy at his club and up he came, and he loves it here.

"He is stereotypical Brazilian footballer. Head band, coloured boots - everything I am not."

The Football Focus programme is a brilliant insight into the work of FC Mindwell.

Dawson spoke of his pride in what the club has been doing in the community, on and off the pitch.

Brazil football legend Neymar (Getty)

"Don't get me wrong, winning is a great thing to do. But predominantly we are here to look after the men," he said.

"I would say that 100 per cent of the men at FC Mindwell have struggled in some shape of form.

"Whether that be an alcohol addiction, a gambling addiction, depression, loneliness, anxiety. A full range of things that we as a club try to address and we try to help the players as best possible.

"And I think we are doing a good job. If we can help one person, just one, then that will be a good job done."


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