Belfast Telegraph

Jim Magilton hopes Euro glory will inspire Northern Ireland U-17s

By Stuart McKinley

Jim Magilton wants Northern Ireland's qualification for the Euro 2016 finals to act as the spur for the country's next generation of young stars.

The Irish FA's elite performance director is in charge of the under-17 international team this week as they begin their own European Championship qualifying campaign.

They face three tough tasks, starting against France today, before a clash with Norway on Thursday and a meeting with hosts Israel on Sunday.

The top two teams progress to the elite qualifying round and Magilton is confident Northern Ireland will be in the mix.

"We hope the senior team's incredible success will provide inspiration to this group of young players," said Magilton.

"France will be a tough proposition and Norway and Israel are tough games, but the players are ready and determined to do well." Magilton's squad is used to success, with Liam McKenna, Cormac Lawlor and Thomas Roscoe being part of the history-making Co Antrim team that won the Dale Farm Milk Cup in the summer.

NORTHERN IRELAND SQUAD: Conor Larkin (Armagh City), Tiarnan Hargan (Derry Colts), Cormac Lawlor (Cliftonville), Jack White (Wigan Athletic) Chris Crane (Linfield), Bobby Burns (Glenavon), Luke Ferguson (Dungannon), Tre Sterling (Fleetwood Town), Chris Gallagher (Shrewsbury Town), Matthew Lynch (Glenavon), David Parkhouse (Sheffield United), Dylan Davidson (Preston North End), Thomas Roscoe (Dungannon), Eoin Toal (Armagh City), Reece McGinley (Liverpool), Timmy Brown (Linfield), Liam McKenna (Glenavon), Thomas Maguire (Glendowan).

FIXTURES (all 1pm UK time): Today: France v Northern Ireland, Israel v Norway. Thursday October 21: Israel v France, Northern Ireland v Norway. Sunday October 25: France v Norway, Israel v Northern Ireland.

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