Former Northern Ireland international O'Neill played for several Scottish and English clubs as a midfielder or forward. During his career he played for Chimney Corner, Coleraine FC, Newcastle United, Dundee United, Hiberian FC, Coventry City, Aberdeen, Reading, Wigan, St Johnstone FC, Portland Timbers, Clydebank, Glentoran and Ayr United. He was awarded player of the year in 1987/88 whilst at Newcastle United.
He played at International level for Northern Ireland, making 33 appearances and scoring 7 times, including 2 in a 5-3 win over Austria, where he also hit the post and was desperately unlucky not to get a hat-trick.
He began management as assistant at Cowdenbeath before becoming manager of Scottish side Brechin City in April 2006. In both December 2007 and October 2008 he won the Irn-Bru Second Division Manager of the Month award.
Michael O'Neill left his post as Brechin City boss to become the new manager of Shamrock Rovers on 13 December 2008. O'Neill spent over two years with the Scottish Second Division side, who currently sit third in the table. Michael was awarded the Irish Soccer Writers Manager of the Month award for July 2009. He has been a revelation at the club, signing the league's top scorer Gary Twigg and he directed them to second place, their best finish in years, and the prospect of Europa League football next year.
At the press conference when unveiled as Rovers manager, he cited Gordon Strachan as his main managerial influence.
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