Northern Ireland Under-16s set to face Finland
Northern Ireland Under-16 Schoolboys are back in action this week as they travel to Finland for a double header of internationals.
On Wednesday, Desi Curry's boys face their Finnish counterparts in Mikkeli before moving to Mäntyharju for the second game on Friday.
Last season, this same group of players faced Austria and Belgium at Under-15 level, but manager Curry believes this season will be a step up in standard for his squad, who will compete in the Victory Shield later in the season.
Curry said: “The players saw in those games the standard required at international level and the 1-0 win in Belgium was the first success by a Northern Ireland Under-15 team in that country. The squad has been working very hard during the summer and these games will enable me to have a good look at everyone before we embark on our Victory Shield campaign.”
The boys have another double header in October, when they welcome Poland to Northern Ireland. The youngsters face Poland at Knockbreda on Tuesday, October 8, before playing a second match at the Newry Showgrounds two days later.
The Victory Shield itself will run from October to November. Curry's boys will be hoping to make the squad and follow in the footsteps of players like Norman Whiteside, Alan McDonald, Keith Gillespie and Steven Davis.
Goalkeepers: Conor Hazard (St Patrick's Downpatrick), Tom McDermott (Holy Cross Strabane)
Defenders: Nathan Kerr (Laurelhill), Caoimhghin Mulligan (Corpus Christi College), Matthew Smyth (Devenish College), Dylan King (Strabane Academy), Joe Crowe (Malone College), Shea Gordon (St Patrick's Dungannon).
Midfielders: Kyle McClean (Belfast High School), Luke Fisher (Ashfield), Mark McKee (St Patrick's College), Martin Olali (Colastie Feirste), Jake Francis (Coleraine Inst), Conor McKendry (St. Killian's College), Emmett McNabb (St John's Dromore)
Forwards: Shea Conaty (St Patrick's Armagh), Matthew Hendry (Larne Grammar), Ryan Caulfield (Ballyclare Secondary)
Belfast Telegraph Digital