Belfast Telegraph

Kennedy's return is a fillip for Craigan's young guns

By Stuart McKinley

Northern Ireland will be boosted by the return of Ben Kennedy for today's must-win game against Holland in the European Under-19 Championship qualifiers (3pm).

The Stevenage midfielder was suspended for Thursday's 2-1 defeat to Poland in the opening game of the Elite phase group after picking up two yellow cards during the previous stage.

Manager Stephen Craigan, however, didn't think that he would be able to call upon Kennedy at all when he was struck down by injury in January.

Surgery on what at first was feared would be a season-ending injury put him out for just six weeks and the Lisburn lad has started three of Stevenage's last four games.

Kennedy is expected to go straight into the team to face a Dutch side managed by former Ajax star Aron Winter, with Northern Ireland needing victory to keep hopes of making the finals alive.

Holland beat Ukraine 3-2 in their opening game and anything other than a Northern Ireland win against the hosts in Uden today would see them knocked out of the competition.

Belfast Telegraph

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