Ryan McGivern (born 8 January 1990) is a Northern Irish footballer, who plays for League One side Port Vale. He can play as a left-back or a central defender, and has represented Northern Ireland in international football.
He began his career with Manchester City, and after he won the FA Youth Cup with the club in 2008 he played on loan for Morecambe, Leicester City, Walsall, Crystal Palace, Bristol City and Hibernian. He spent the 2012–13 season on loan at Hibernian, playing on the losing side in the 2013 final of the Scottish Cup, before he joined the club permanently for a one season stay in the Scottish Premier League. He joined Port Vale in June 2014.
He won caps for Northern Ireland at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels before he won his first senior cap in August 2008. He has also played for the Northern Ireland B team.
Born in Newry, County Down, McGivern is a product of the Manchester City youth teams. He played in the club’s 2008FA Youth Cup final win over Chelsea. He scored in the 2007–08 Premier Academy League play-off semi-final win over Sunderland, before featuring in the side that lost to Aston Villa in the play-offs.On 25 October 2008, McGivern joined Morecambe on loan; “Shrimps” manager Sammy McIlroy stated that “I have seen Ryan play a few times and been very impressed by what I’ve seen”. Having already won international caps, he made his debut in the Football League on 25 October, featuring in a 2–1 defeat to Port Vale at Vale Park. He scored his first ever senior goal in a 2–0 victory over Aldershot Town at Christie Park on 1 November. In total he played fiveLeague Two games and made one appearance in the Football League Trophy. McGivern was promoted to Manchester City’s first team squad for their Premier League game versus Fulham on 12 April 2009 and was an unused substitute.
On 29 August 2009, McGivern joined Championship side Leicester City on loan until January 2010. He made his debut for Nigel Pearson’s “Foxes” in a 2–0 win over Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium on 20 October. Despite scoring an own goal in a 1–1 draw with Ipswich Town on 10 January, the following day his loan was extended until the end of the 2009–10 season. He played a total of twelve league games for Leicester but was not selected for the Championship play-off semi-finals, which they lost to Cardiff City.
McGivern was loaned to Chris Hutchings’s League One club Walsall on loan for the 2010–11 season, having beaten competition for his services from other clubs. He was a regular in the first team before losing his place after getting sent off for a “reckless two-footed challenge” during a 1–1 draw with Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup on 6 November. He made a total of 16 appearances for the “Saddlers” during his stay at the Bescot Stadium before he was recalled on 20 January 2011. City manager Roberto Mancini handed McGivern his first team debut at the City of Manchester Stadium in a Premier League game against Sunderland on 3 April 2011, using him as a 70th minute substitute to replace Dedryck Boyata in a game that City won 5–0.
“It’s always been strange having played 12 times for Northern Ireland before playing for City. Since coming back from Walsall, I would say it is the first chance Roberto Mancini has had to see me and hopefully he has liked what he has seen so far. I’ve been at the club for seven years and there were times when I thought it would never happen – but now I’m just hungry for more. I would say that chat with the manager was the first conversation we have had because he isn’t that sort of boss.”
After signing a new deal, keeping him at City until 2013, McGivern made a 28-day loan move to Crystal Palace on 3 August 2011. He provided an assist for Jonathan Parr on his home debut for Dougie Freedman’s “Eagles” at Selhurst Park, in a 2–0 victory over Burnley on 13 August. After his loan spell at Palace ended, McGivern moved to Bristol City for the remainder of the 2011–12 season. He made his debut for Derek McInnes’s “Robins” on 10 September, in a 1–0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion at Ashton Gate Stadium. He made a total of 32 appearances for Bristol City, helping the club to finish above the Championship relegation zone.
In August 2012, McGivern signed on loan for Pat Fenlon’s Scottish Premier League side Hibernian until January 2013. Having been an unused substitute for two games, he finally made his debut, coming on for Alan Maybury, in a 2–1 loss against Aberdeen at Pittodrie Stadium. He then established himself at “Hibs”, playing in the left-back position, replacing Maybury, who would play in the right-back position. His playing time having been increased, his loan deal was extended until the end of the 2012–13season. After having his loan extended, McGivern said he would decide his future beyond then at the end of the season. During a match against Dundee United on 24 February 2013, McGivern was penalized for a foul on Gary Mackay-Steven which resulted in a penalty kick for United even though television coverage showed the incident was clearly outside the penalty area. After the match, McGivern criticised referee Alan Muir and his assistant Graham McNeillie for their decision. McGivern scored his first goal for Hibernian three days later, a 2–2 draw with Kilmarnock at Easter Road.
McGivern agreed a two-year contract with Hibernian after his contract with Manchester City came to an end. He made 38 appearances in the 2013–14 campaign, as the club suffered relegation into the Championship under the stewardship of Terry Butcher.
McGivern signed a two-year contract with League One side Port Vale in June 2014 after newly appointed Hibernian boss Alan Stubbs agreed to release him from the remaining 12 months of his contract. He started the 2014–15 season in a centre-back partnership with Richard Duffy. He remained a regular first team player until he fractured his arm in a 2–0 defeat to Coventry City at Vale Park; the injury required a plate to be fitted in his arm and a six week recovery period.
McGivern was a regular at various under-age levels for Northern Ireland, winning caps at under-17 level in 2006, before elevation to the under-19 set-up in 2007. He played in the Northern Ireland elite side during their 2008 Milk Cup win.
Steve Beaglehole called McGivern to the Northern Ireland Under-21 squad for a mini-tournament in Ukraine on 19 and 20 August 2008, but he did not make his under-21 debut as Nigel Worthington instead promoted McGivern into the full Northern Ireland squad as a replacement for the injured George McCartney for a friendly international against Scotland on 20 August. Aged 18, he made his debut in that match as a starter but was sent-off for two bookable offences by referee Nicolai Vollquartz. On 11 October 2008, he made his competitive debut for Northern Ireland, coming on as a second half substitute in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Slovenia; the match ended in a 2–0 defeat. He continued to make occasional appearances for the national team, featuring in three further 2010 World Cup qualifying games, though he played in just one Euro 2012 qualifying game and two 2014 World Cup qualification matches
|2009–2010||Leicester City (loan)||12||(0)|
|2011||Crystal Palace (loan)||5||(0)|
|2011–2012||Bristol City (loan)||31||(0)|
|Northern Ireland U16||3||(0)|
|Northern Ireland U17||9||(2)|
|2007–2008||Northern Ireland U19||6||(2)|
|2010–2012||Northern Ireland U21||6||(1)|
|2009||Northern Ireland B||1||(0)|