Four Danske Bank Premiership players have received call-ups to a Northern Ireland summer training camp after manager Ian Baraclough confirmed a 26-man panel that will gather at St George’s Park in England.
Glentoran striker Conor McMenamin is rewarded for an exceptional season at The Oval, and he will be joined on the plane by Glenavon goalkeeper Josh Clarke, Larne defender Kofi Balmer and Dungannon Swifts midfielder Terry Devlin.
It is a young squad overall, with Baraclough taking the opportunity to look at some of the Under-21 and Under-19 players he hopes to have at his disposal ahead of their Nations League campaign.
McMenamin, 26, is the only player in the squad who has not represented Northern Ireland at any level previously, and he joins a relatively senior forward group compared to the rest of the squad.
Baraclough has asked Conor Washington, Shayne Lavery, Gavin Whyte, Dion Charles and Paul Smyth into the squad too, with the manager looking for a goal scorer to put his hand up ahead of their next game against Greece on June 2.
The majority of the manager’s veteran playing staff are unable to be called up due to their club commitments, with the likes of Steven Davis, Jonny Evans and Craig Cathcart still finishing their domestic seasons.
“It will enable the younger players to showcase what they’re all about and increase their experience of international football with the senior team coaches and players,” he explained.
From the Under-21 squad there are call-ups for Balmer and Devlin, as well as Manchester City’s Shea Charles, Chelsea’s Sam McClelland and Norwich City’s Sean Stewart in defence, and Leeds United’s Alfie McCalmont and Fleetwood Town’s Barry Baggley in midfield.
There’s a strong Under-19 contingent in there, too, as West Ham United defender Michael Forbes is included alongside midfielders Charlie Allen (Leeds United), with Glenavon goalkeeper Clarke also a member of the underage squad.
Northern Ireland training camp squad
Goalkeepers: Luke Southwood (Reading), Dermot Mee (Manchester United), Josh Clarke (Glenavon)
Defenders: Ciaron Brown (Oxford United, on loan from Cardiff City), Michael Forbes (West Ham United), Paddy Lane (Fleetwood Town), Shea Charles (Manchester City), Sam McClelland (Chelsea), Brodie Spencer (Huddersfield Town), Sean Stewart (Norwich City), Kofi Balmer (Larne), Ruairi McConville (Brighton and Hove Albion)
Midfielders: Alistair McCann (Preston North End), Alfie McCalmont (Morecambe, on loan from Leeds United), Oisin Smyth (Oxford United), Caolan Boyd-Munce (Middlesbrough), Terry Devlin (Dungannon Swifts), Barry Baggley (Fleetwood Town), Charlie Allen (Leeds United), Darren Robinson (Derby County)
Forwards: Conor Washington (Charlton Athletic), Shayne Lavery (Blackpool), Gavin Whyte (Oxford United, on loan from Cardiff City), Dion Charles (Bolton Wanderers), Paul Smyth (Leyton Orient), Conor McMenamin (Glentoran)