Search begins for Under 18 Schools’ squad

Northern Ireland Schools’ Under 18 manager Bob Ramsey is appealing for recommendations of players as he begins his build-up to an exciting programme of fixtures during the 2012-2013 season.

Bob is seeking the nomination of players who were Under 18 on 1st August 2012 (please note the qualification date as the Under 18 Schools’ team does not operate on the UEFA age qualification date of 1st January).

All players must be in full time attendance at school or college.

“It is essential that managers and coaches appreciate the level of performance required from an international player” said Ramsey.

“Nominated players should be playing at a high standard of Intermediate football, IFA Youth League, or Premier League level”.

Nominations, giving the name, position, date of birth, club and school, should be sent to

Bob Ramsey via email:

Once again coaches Andy McMorran, Lee Rutherford and John Spence will assist the manager and already Ramsey and his staff have been out and about in their quest to discover the best talent.

They will scour the country each week in their mission to reproduce the success of previous years and Ramsey hopes to have a final trial over the Christmas period before naming his squad.

The team will participate in a tournament against Jersey and Guernsey in February before embarking on the Centenary Shield British Isles Championship.

“It’s a very heavy programme over a short period of time,” said Bob.

“So it is essential that we have a strong squad to cope with any eventualities. I guarantee that all players nominated will be seen in action,” added Ramsey.

The Under 18 team has proven to be a showcase for many late developers such as Gareth McAuley, Alan Mannus, Liam Boyce, Stephen Craigan and others who made their international debut at this level.

“It would be great to see this year’s team lift the Centenary Shield in their final match against Wales as that game will be televised live on Sky TV,” added Ramsey.

Ramsey has been in charge of the Under 18 Schools team since 1998 and during that time has collected many trophies but his enthusiasm and hunger for success remains undiminished and it will be no surprise if he puts together another team which can surpass the achievements of the past.