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Memorable Victory Shield triumph is pointer to bright future, says Jim Magilton

By Graham Luney

Northern Ireland's Under-16 Schoolboys are celebrating after lifting the Victory Shield for only the second time in the country's history.

Former Northern Ireland captain Jim Magilton, Elite Performance Director at the Irish FA, hailed the boys' 'resilience and character' as they celebrated a memorable success.

Gerald Boyle's side defeated Wales 3-1 in Tralee yesterday afternoon to get the party started.

Orrin McLaughlin, Vicky Saldanha and Euan Williams rom the penalty spot scored the goals that secured a first triumph for the team since 2000-01 when Northern Ireland skipper and Southampton ace Steven Davis was part of the squad.

Northern Ireland defeated the Republic of Ireland 3-1 and also held Scotland 1-1.

Magilton said he was proud of the boys and felt the success had been coming.

"The boys have been excellent," said Magilton. "This process has been ongoing for four years.

"They have been waiting for this and their resilience and character shines through every time you ask something from them.

"I am so proud of them and this achievement will live with them for the rest of their days.

"It's the culmination of four years of hard work and they are a special group of players who deserve this.

"We dug in deep to all our reserves and everyone played their part. I'm so pleased for them."

Belfast Telegraph

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