Brotherly love will go out the window on Saturday night at The Showgrounds when Dundalk striker David McMillan comes face to face with his older brother and Sligo Rovers central defender, Evan McMillan.
Being on opposing sides is something of a rarity for the McMillans. Team-mates at UCD, St Patrick’s Athletic and Sligo Rovers, this will only be the third time they have faced each other as opponents and David said that he is looking forward to the battle.
“We’ve played against each other a couple of times before. Evan was at Bohemians and I was at UCD and I think we’ve won a game each,” he recalled. “He scored in the first game and I scored in the second game so it’s well set up for Saturday!
“It’s a different setting this time as both teams will be pushing to try and win the league. Our family all come to the games and I’m sure our parents will be hoping it ends in a draw but both of us will be looking for the three points.”
Their last spell as team-mates came at the back end of the last season when David joined the Bit o’Red during the summer transfer window. He moved to the west with a big reputation after netting 12 goals in just 19 games for UCD but he failed to replicate that form at Sligo, hitting the net just once in 13 games. Despite that, he feels he has nothing to prove to Rovers boss Ian Baraclough’s.
“People say it didn’t work out for me there but that is just one manager’s opinion. I’ve been around the league long enough and people know what I’m about. I’ve proven over the years what I can do so I don’t feel I’ve to prove anything.”
Both players go into the game on the back of some good form. Evan scored Sligo Rovers’ 87th minute winner against Athlone Town in their opening game of the season while he was also on target in their 5-0 win over Crusaders in the Setanta Cup quarter-final second leg.
David also has two goals to his name, netting in Dundalk’s Leinster Senior Cup tie with St Patrick’s Athletic and in their Setanta Cup defeat to Coleraine at Oriel Park. The 25-year-old has started Dundalk’s last two games, forming a partnership with Patrick Hoban in the victories over Coleraine and Limerick.
Playing two men up front represents a slight alteration to Stephen Kenny’s trusted 4-2-3-1 system that was deployed for the majority of last season and McMillan feels the potential is certainly there for him and Hoban to play regularly as a duo.
“Pat has scored in the last three games and his strength and power in holding off defenders is a perfect foil for me. It’s something that is a work in progress but I enjoy playing up there with him and if that happens again on Saturday then I look forward to it.
“We also have Kurtis and Griff adding competition which keeps everybody on their toes,” he added. “It’s brilliant and it gives the manager great options.”