Coleraine teenager Mark Edgar celebrated his seventeenth birthday earlier this month with a call up to the Northern Ireland Under 19’s.
The former Coleraine Inst pupil who is on the books at Blackburn Rovers said he was ‘delighted’ with the call up.
Mark joined the Ewood Park Club in September, but before that he played his club football for Bertie Peacock Youths.
“To be honest I had had kind of given up on selection for Northern Ireland,” Mark told Times Sport.
“I have been working really hard at training, and I have been getting plenty of game time at Blackburn.
“I have been performing well in games, playing centre midfield, left back and centre back - so this call up to the 19’s has given me a real boost.”
Just last week, Edgar and his Blackburn team mates defeated Manchester United under 18’s 4-2.
Mark is looking forward to joining up with the Northern Ireland Under 19’s back home for the two games against Switzerland on March 4 and March 6.
Under 19’s Manager, Stephen Craigan was impressed by the Coleraine lad’s ability, he told Times Sport on Friday: “Yes Mark has impressed, so we called him up for this double header. I know Mark from the Northern Ireland set up.
“There’s not many left-footed centre backs around. Mark still has a lot to learn in footballing terms, but the experience is good for him.
“He’s got a good attitude on and off the pitch, and certainly he’s a good young prospect.”
Craigan, who has 54 International caps went on: “The two games are actually for the under 18’s.
“We’ll use it to prepare for the Under 19 Euro qualifiers which will be hosted here in Northern Ireland next year.”