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Stephen Kenny’s son Eoin named in Northern Ireland Under-18s squad for SuperCupNI clashes with Manchester United

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Northern Ireland U19 boss Gerard Lyttle

Northern Ireland U19 boss Gerard Lyttle

Northern Ireland U19 boss Gerard Lyttle

Northern Ireland Under-18s manager Gerard Lyttle has named Stephen Kenny’s son Eoin in his squad for next week’s SuperCupNI matches against Manchester United.

The Dundalk midfielder is very highly rated at Oriel Park and would undoubtedly have been attracting interest from the Republic of Ireland set-up, but he has instead accepted the call from Northern Ireland, who he qualifies for having been born in Derry while his father managed there.

Due to the games being uncapped, if Kenny plays for Northern Ireland in one of the two games against the Red Devils then it does not affect his eligibility for the Republic.

Kenny is one of three newcomers to the 21-man panel, with Accrington Stanley winger Lewis Trickett and Derry City defender Conor Barr also included.

The squad bridges the gap between the Under-19s and Under-17s teams – which Lyttle is also manager of – and comprises mainly of players who have prior experience with the Under-17s.

However, there is a small group of players who have stepped up to the Under-19 squad that are included, with six of the team that won both friendlies in Malta last month named in Lyttle’s squad this time around too.

Goalkeeper Pierce Charles, defenders Daithi McCallion and Reece Jordan, midfielders Aaron Wightman and Sam Glenfield, and striker Conor Scannell are the players stepping down an age-grade.

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Eight of the squad are currently on the books of Irish League teams – including Portadown’s Jordan, Glentoran’s Wightman and Glenavon’s Scannell – with Larne contributing four of them.

The Inver Reds have defenders Odhran McCart and Sean Brown included, as well as midfielder Caolan Donnelly and striker Shea Brennan, with Linfield forward Leon Boyd completing the locally-based contingent.

“It’s important to keep continuity between the Under-17s and Under-19s. Several players who are with clubs in England and Scotland have just completed pre-season so they have not been included,” said Lyttle.

“However, my squads usually feature lots of players from NIFL Premiership and League of Ireland clubs, so I see this as an opportunity for players based here to once again show what they can do.

“It will be a massive test for the boys against such highly rated opposition. However, I have no doubt the players will rise to the occasion. There are Under-19 Euro qualifiers this autumn and I am sure the players in this squad will want to be part of that squad as well.”

Northern Ireland’s two games against Manchester United’s Under-18s side will be played at the Coleraine Showgrounds on Monday, July 25, and then two days later at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Wednesday, July 27. Both kick-offs are at 7:30pm.

Northern Ireland Under-18s squad for SuperCupNI

Goalkeepers: Pierce Charles (Sheffield Wednesday), Kai McClean (Celtic).

Defenders: Conor Barr, Daithi McCallion, Darragh McCloskey (all Derry City), Ordhan McCart and Sean Brown (both Larne), Reece Jordan (Portadown), Bayley McCann (Peterborough United).

Midfielders: Jack Patterson (Everton), Lewis Trickett (Accrington Stanley), Caolan Donnelly (Larne), Rio Morgan (Ipswich Town), Aaron Wightman (Glentoran), Sam Glenfield (Fleetwood Town), Eoin Kenny (Dundalk).

Forwards: Conor Scannell (Glenavon), Leon Boyd (Linfield), Reece Evans (Leicester City), Shea Brennan (Larne), Luca Doherty (Derry City).


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