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Morris in for Northern Ireland clash against Czechs after injured Flanagan withdrawn

By Adam McKendry

Published 01/09/2016

Callum Morris
Callum Morris

Northern Ireland have called Aberdeen defender Callum Morris into their squad for the World Cup qualifier against Czech Republic after Tom Flanagan had to withdraw due to a thigh injury.

Flanagan, who plays for Burton Albion, had been in line for his first cap if selected by Michael O'Neill, but has had to pull out.

Instead, Morris gets a shot at making his first appearance for O'Neill's side after his first call-up to the squad.

The 26-year-old was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, but qualifies to play for Northern Ireland through his father who was born in Belfast.

The defender started his career at his local club Newcastle. However he was released while he was still in his teens and spent several years in the non-leagues with Blyth Spartans, Hayes & Yeading United and Morpeth Town.

He was snapped up on a one-year deal by Scottish First Division side Dunfermline Athletic in August 2012, which marked his return to professional football.

Morris then made a switch to Dundee United in June 2014, but was let go at the end of last season when they were relegated from the Scottish Premier League.

He signed a one-year contract with Aberdeen over the summer, but he is yet to make his debut for the Pittodrie outfit.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic gave new coach Karel Jarolim the best possible start to his tenure after they warmed up for Sunday's World Cup qualifier with a 3-0 friendly win over Armenia in Mlada Boleslav.

Ladislav Krejci, Vaclav Kadlec and Jan Kopic all scored for Jarolim's side, who are having to cope with the retirements of influential duo Petr Cech and Jaroslav Plasil.

Jarolim selected two completely different sides for each half as he prepares to name his first competitive line-up as national coach against Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph

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