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Jordan Thompson out to boost his NI hopes after Blackpool deal


On move: Jordan Thompson has joined Blackpool
On move: Jordan Thompson has joined Blackpool

By Graham Luney

Northern Ireland international Jordan Thompson says he hopes his international career can take off after sealing a move from Rangers to Blackpool.

The 21-year-old midfielder has agreed a two-year deal with the option of a further year at the League One club and his goal is to secure more regular football.

Thompson made his senior international debut against Panama on the recent tour of Central America and was a late substitute in the Costa Rica defeat.

After making just three first-team appearances for Rangers in three years, he was released by the Scottish club in May.

The Belfast man ended last season on loan at Livingston as they achieved promotion to the Scottish Premiership.

"I'm delighted," said Thompson. "I've been up in Scotland for a few years and I've had a lot of experience, being out on loan a few times and learning a lot at Rangers.

"I want to be playing games week in, week out and hopefully that's what I can do here, as well as get a few more international call-ups. I can't wait to get started."

Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer said: "We're really pleased to bring Jordan to the club.

"He's a player with great technical ability and loads of potential, so we're looking forward to working with him. His appearances for Northern Ireland only highlight the quality he has."

Northern Ireland Under-21 international Dale Gorman has joined Leyton Orient.

The 21-year-old has agreed a two-year deal at Brisbane Road after being released by Stevenage last month after five years at the club.

Gorman stated: "I am delighted to sign for this great club and I am looking forward to the success in the future.

"With the players, people and fans we have here already the new season is set to be something special, and I can't wait to get started."

Meanwhile, the Irish FA have confirmed that Northern Ireland will play their penultimate fixture of the Uefa Nations League against Bosnia and Herzegovina at Grbavica Stadium in Sarajevo.

The final away match for Michael O'Neill's side in the new Uefa competition will take place on Monday, October 15, three days after they take on Austria in Vienna.

Grbavica Stadium has a capacity of around 13,000 and is home to FK Zeljeznicar, who play in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Premier League.

Given the limited capacity of the stadium, it is expected that demand for tickets will exceed supply on this occasion, leaving supporters disappointed.

The Austrian FA have also confirmed that the Uefa Nations League match between Austria and Northern Ireland will take place at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna on October 12.

It is the largest stadium in Austria with a capacity of just over 50,000 seats.

The match will be Michael O'Neill's side's second game in the new competition. Northern Ireland kick off the campaign against Bosnia & Herzegovina at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park on September 8.

In the Danske Bank Premiership, Ballymena United will have to play their fixtures away from home until mid-September after their pitch was re-laid ahead of the new season.

The condition of the Showgrounds pitch has been problematic in recent years.

United vice-chairman Don Stirling said: "Barring unforeseen circumstances, the date we have been given is September 15.

"The weather has been kind so the work is on schedule or even slightly ahead of schedule."

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