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Gerard Lyttle names Northern Ireland Under-19 squad for Malta friendly double-header


Northern Ireland Under-19s manager Gerard Lyttle (William Cherry/Presseye)

Northern Ireland Under-19s manager Gerard Lyttle (William Cherry/Presseye)

William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland Under-19s manager Gerard Lyttle (William Cherry/Presseye)

Northern Ireland Under-19s manager Gerard Lyttle has named a 21-man squad for their upcoming friendly double-header against Malta in Ta’Qali.

The sides will play games against each other on June 8 and 10 as part of preparations for their upcoming European Championship qualifiers in September and November.

Lyttle has made five changes to the squad that last convened for the Federations Cup in March, all of whom are new faces to the underage squad.

Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Pierce Charles makes the step up from the Under-17s to the squad, while Stoke City defender Josh Roney returns from injury and is also included.

Also coming into the panel are a trio of locally-based players, with Derry City defender Daithi McCallion, Portadown midfielder Sam Glenfield – both of whom represented the Under-17s – and Dungannon Swifts striker Ryan Donnelly included.

Dropping out of the squad are Everton goalkeeper Dylan Graham, as are defenders Darragh McCloskey (Derry City), Bobby Deane (Lincoln City) and Tommy Fogarty (Birmingham City).

Strikers Omari Kellyman (Aston Villa) and Reece Evans (Leicester City) are also left off the squad list this time around.

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Lyttle will hope to see his team build on a hugely encouraging Federations Cup performance that saw them beat Norway 2-1 thanks to goals from Charlie Lindsay and Aaron Wightman and the Czech Republic 1-0 courtesy of a Michael Forbes strike.

The Under-19s are due to play their first European qualifier in late September, with the top two sides in their group – which also includes the Netherlands, Slovenia and Moldova – reaching the elite qualifying stage next year.

Northern Ireland Under-19 squad

Goalkeepers: Pierce Charles (Sheffield Wednesday), Stephen McMullan (Warrenpoint Town)

Defenders: Ruairi McConville (Brighton and Hove Albion), Michael Forbes (West Ham United), Josh Roney (Stoke City), Daithi McCallion (Derry City), Matthew Carson (Southampton), Reece Jordan (Portadown), Brodie Spencer (Huddersfield Town)

Midfielders: Charlie Lindsay (Rangers), Jamie McDonnell (Nottingham Forest), Darren Robinson (Derby County), Aaron Wightman (Glentoran), Sam Glenfield (Portadown),Callum Wilson (unattached)

Forwards: Ryan Donnelly (Dungannon Swifts), Callum Marshall (West Ham United), Conor Scannell (Glenavon), Makenzie Kirk (Hearts), Patrick Kelly (Coleraine), Conor Falls (Huddersfield Town)

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