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Baraclough welcomes big names to youth set-up



Big input: Andy Waterworth is part of the new U19 and U17 NI coaching team

Big input: Andy Waterworth is part of the new U19 and U17 NI coaching team

�INPHO/Stephen Hamilton

Big input: Andy Waterworth is part of the new U19 and U17 NI coaching team

Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough says he's delighted to see Andy Waterworth, Gareth McAuley and Roy Carroll join the Northern Ireland Under-19 and Under-17 set-up.

Boss Gerard Lyttle previously worked alongside new assistant manager Waterworth with the Northern Ireland's Under-16 schoolboys side.

Legendary Northern Ireland centre back McAuley will be a coach for the two teams while former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Carroll has agreed to become the goalkeeping coach for both sides.

"I'm really keen to encourage our former international stars to come back into the fold in this way. It's part of the fabric of what I feel any manager should be doing," Baraclough said.

"Gareth and Roy are inspirational players that have been there and done it. Having them involved is good for us but, more importantly, even better for the young players who will benefit from their experience and expertise. There is a real eagerness from them to get involved which we are harnessing and alongside Andy Waterworth it's a backroom team to match any out there."

Lyttle knows the trio bring a vast amount of experience to the set-up and their input will keep the young players moving forward in their careers.

"Andy and I share the same beliefs in terms of coaching and style and systems of play," Lyttle told the Irish FA website.

"Andy has a good knowledge of the youth players coming through the systems. He's a top coach and has a great way with the young players. This appointment was a no-brainer for me.

"Gareth is at the start of his coaching journey. It will be brilliant to have someone of his experience around our players while away at tournaments and camps.

"He will play a big part not just in helping with the coaching but also being an ambassador to our players.

"To have someone like Gareth helping on and off the field is exciting for me and he is someone who knows what it takes to represent your country at the highest level. Gareth, Andy and Roy are all winners and pride themselves on being the best they possibly can be.

"All three have had a fantastic career in the game and now want to continue that success at international level through coaching."

Belfast Telegraph