Northern Irish youngster who adapted superbly to playing in the centre of defence after initially arriving from Ballyclare Colts as an attacking midfielder.
The talented prospect was thrust into the spotlight when handed a Barclays Premier League debut against West Ham in September and he impressed in a 2-1 victory, making one vital interception deep inside his own box.
McNair had been an unused substitute at MK Dons in the Capital One Cup and edged Under-21 central defensive partner Tom Thorpe for the right to play alongside Marcos Rojo in the Hammers clash, keeping his place for the victory over Everton by the same scoreline.
Comfortable in possession, adaptable and versatile, Academy coach Paul McGuinness felt in 2002 that his best position would probably not be pinpointed for another couple of years. As he was one of the youngest in his age group, he signed on as a third-year scholar in time for the 2013/2014 campaign and performed in the UEFA Youth League - even if he was unfortunate to be sent off in the opening game against Bayer Leverkusen for two bookable offences.