Another player in his second spell with the Lilywhites, David McMillan proudly sits alongside Liam Brady and Glen Crowe on the list of top Irish goalscorers in UEFA club competitions with 11 goals. Only Derek Dougan (12), Robbie Keane (15) and Roy Keane (15) have scored more than the Lilywhites striker.
McMillan began his career with UCD, making his first-team debut against Cork City at Turner’s Cross in September 2008. After UCD’s relegation to the first division, he played a pivotal role in their return to the top flight, scoring 12 league goals as the Students bounced back at the first attempt.
In May 2010, David was named as the SSE Airtricity SWAI Player of the Month after a prolific run of form which saw him score five times for the Students and four months later he was called into the Irish U23 squad to face Estonia in the International Challenge Trophy.
In January 2011, he moved to St Patrick’s Athletic where he scored his first European goal in a 2-1 defeat away to Shakhter Karagandy in the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds. A brief spell in Australia followed before he returned to UCD in the summer of 2012.
David scored 12 times in 19 league games for the Students in the opening half of 2013. A move to league champions Sligo Rovers followed that July and even though he scored on his debut for the Bit o’Red, he made just 13 league appearances over the remainder of the season and signed for Dundalk ahead of the 2014 campaign.
He made a huge impression at Oriel Park, scoring 15 goals in all competitions in the league and EA Sports Cup winning 2014 season, before leading the line in all 33 league games the season after, scoring 12 times as the Lilywhites retained the title and also added the FAI Cup to the trophy cabinet.
McMillan caught fire in the summer of 2016, bagging five goals in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds as Dundalk blazed their way to the group stages of the UEFA Europa League. He also hit 16 league goals as they won a third consecutive title.
Another impressive haul of 16 league goals in 2017 opened the door for a move to St Johnstone but his time in Scotland was disrupted with injuries and after loan spells at Hamilton Academical and Falkirk, he returned to Dundalk in the summer of 2020.
He helped the club to the UEFA Europa League group stages by scoring the winning goal against Inter Club d’Escaldes in the 2020 Europa second qualifying round and his brace from the penalty spot in the 4-3 loss to Rapid Wien in Austria saw him equal Glen Crowe’s record of 11 goals by a League of Ireland player in European competition.
Tasked with leading the line in the FAI Cup final against Shamrock Rovers at the Aviva Stadium, McMillan responded by becoming just the third player in history to score a hat-trick in the final as Dundalk won the trophy for the 12th time in the club’s history with a thrilling 4-2 win.
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