Under-16s ready for double header against Finland

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Northern Ireland Under 16 Manager Desi Curry has named the squad for two games in Finland this week.

Coleraine Inst pupile Jake Francis has been included in the team will play Finland at Mikkeli on Wednesday 18 September and two days later the teams meet again at Mäntyharju. Fifteen players were capped last season at Under 15 level in games against Austria and Belgium but Curry stresses the importance of next week’s games.

“The players saw in those games the standard required at international level and the 1-0 win in Belgium was the first success by a Northern Ireland Under 15 team in that country,” said Curry.

“The squad has been working very hard during the summer and these games will enable me to have a good look at everyone before we embark on our Victory Shield campaign,” added the Under-16 boss. After the Finland trip, Northern Ireland will host Poland at Knockbreda on Tuesday 8th October and at Newry on Thursday 10th October.

Northern Ireland Under 16 Squad

GOALKEEPERS Conor Hazzard (St Patrick’s Downpatrick), Tom McDermott (Holy Cross Strabane)

DEFENDERS Nathan Kerr (Laurelhill), Caoimhghin Mulligan (Corpus Christi College), Matthew Smyth (Devenish College), Dylan King (Strabane Academy), Joe Crowe (Malone College), Shea Gordon (St Patrick’s Dungannon)

MIDFIELDERS Kyle McClean (Belfast High School), Luke Fisher (Ashfield), Mark McKee (St Patrick’s College), Martin Olali (Colaiste Feirste), Jake Francis (Coleraine Inst), Conor McKendry (St Killian’s College), Emmett McNabb (St John’s Dromore)

FORWARDS Shea Conaty (St Patrick’s Armagh), Matthew Henry (Larne Grammar), Ryan Caulfield (Ballyclare Secondary)