Belfast Telegraph

Stephen Robinson hopes his Northern Ireland starlets can emulate Healy

By Stuart McKinley

Stephen Robinson is hoping that the influence of David Healy will rub off on Northern Ireland's young international players tonight.

It is now nine years since Healy scored the winner in a famous victory over England at Windsor Park and while the occasion may not be as big as a World Cup qualifier, beating the English at Stangmore Park this evening (7pm kick-off) would put Northern Ireland's under-16s in a great position to claim this season's Victory Shield.

After a 2-1 win over Scotland last week belief in the squad is high and there is a confidence that they can emulate last year's squad, who were 1-0 winners over England in Bournemouth.

Healy is Robinson's assistant with the under-16s and together they could be a lucky omen.

"David created those great memories against England. I was on the bench, but it was brilliant to be involved in an occasion like that when we beat a team of England superstars at Windsor Park," said Robinson.

"We are aiming to do that again at this level and these young players should then want to go on and be a part of nights like that at senior level in the future."

Healy's record tally of 36 goals in a Northern Ireland shirt means he is well placed to advise the next generation of international hopefuls, with whom he works closely.

"David is great to have around. He works with the strikers and to those boys he's just a coach rather than a hero," revealed Robinson.

"To have someone like David, with the stature he has in Northern Ireland football, coaching them is a real positive for us and they really look up to him."

Midfielder Thomas Roscoe and striker Jack McCourt have been added to the squad, but Robinson won't tinker too much with his starting line-up after last week's success.

"England can make nine changes and still have a full squad who are with Premier League clubs. We don't have that luxury, but the development of the players is the most important thing," he said.

NORTHERN IRELAND SQUAD: Connor Larkin (Drumcree College/Armagh City), Matty Davidson (Campbell College/Linfield), Cormac Lawlor (St Malachy's, Belfast/Cliftonville), Conal Fagan (St Colum's College/Oxford United Stars), Jack White (Newtownbreda High School/Glentoran), Lucas Gallashan (Boy's Model/Glentoran), Liam McKenna (De La Salle/Oliver Plunkett), Chris Crane (Corpus Christi/Linfield), Chris Gallagher (De La Salle/Linfield), Matt Lynch (De La Salle/Glenavon), Dylan Davidson (Hazelwood College/Cliftonville), Stephen Mallon (CBS/Oliver Plunkett), Tre Stirling (Boy's Model/Glentoran), Thomas Roscoe (Wallace High School/Linfield), Niall Cassidy (St Malachy's, Castlewellan/Armagh), Jack Sharvin (St Colmcille's/Linfield), Alex Carolan (Deele College/Maiden City), Dave Parkhouse (St Joseph's/Maiden City), Reece McGinley (Rainhill High School/Liverpool), Jack McCourt (Boy's Model/Linfield).

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