Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Youth will get chance for Northern Ireland, says Worthington

Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington has promised to give youth a chance while he is in charge of team affairs.

That mission will be underlined tonight when the province face Scotland in a B international at Clyde's Broadwood Stadium.

Nine of the 18 players Worthington is calling on are teenagers with the average age of the squad just 19.

Manchester City defender Ryan McGivern and Rangers striker Andrew Little, both 19, are in the group after enjoying a taste of action for the senior side in World Cup qualifiers.

Under-21 manager Steve Beaglehole, who will be Worthington's right-hand man in Scotland, said: "Nigel has told the younger players not to worry that he might not be interested in them as they are only 17 or 18.

"In fact the opposite is true with Ryan and Andrew used as examples of what they can achieve.

"If Nigel thinks they are good enough to step up, it will happen, no doubt about that. It is fantastic for the players to have a manager with those beliefs.

"Northern Ireland is a small nation and do not have a lot of players to call on. Youngsters have a chance to make their mark if they are good enough."