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Meet the players at the Irish FA JD Academy in collaboration with UEFA

Alex Henderson

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Age: 16

School: Belfast High School

Hometown: Limavady

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Coleraine 

What's your sporting highlight to date? Playing in the Victory Shield.

Who is your sporting hero? David de Gea

Any secret talents? I'm good at the high jump as I won the Ulster Championships a few years ago.

Matthew Williamson

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Age: 15

School: Hazelwood Integrated College

Hometown: Crumlin

Position: Goalkeeper 

Club: Linfield

What's your sporting highlight to date? Playing for Northern Ireland in Colliers Park in Wrexham in 2019 in a UEFA tournament.

Who is your sporting hero? Ben Foster

What is your favourite cheat meal? Would have to be a Chinese!

Rian Brown

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Age: 15

School: All Saints College

Hometown: Belfast 

Position: Goalkeeper 

Club: Portadown

Best team you have played against? Ajax 

Who is your sporting hero? Manuel Neuer

Billy McDowell

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Age: 16

School: Belfast High School

Hometown: Coleraine 

Position: Goalkeeper 

Club: Coleraine FC

What's your sporting highlight to date? Representing my country at international level, particularly in Victory Shield.

Best goal you've scored? Scored from my own net in a 9 a-side friendly.

Best team you have played against? Spain

Jack Wilkins

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Age: 14

School: Carrickfergus Academy 

Hometown: Bangor  

Position: Goalkeeper 

Club: Linfield

What is your favourite cheat meal? McDonald's.

Your sporting highlight to date? Playing for County Down.

Lorcán Donnelly

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Age: 14

School: Rathmore Grammar School

Hometown: Belfast  

Position: Goalkeeper 

Club: Cliftonville 

What's your highlights of your time at the academy to date? Meeting Ian Baraclough and getting an insight into the Northern Ireland senior men's team.

What's your sporting highlight to date? Being selected for the JD Academy and winning the Foyle Cup.

What is your favourite cheat meal? Pizza

Josh Roney

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Age: 16

School: Belfast High School 

Hometown: Tandragee  

Position: Defender 

Club: Linfield 

Highlights of your time at the academy to date? Having the opportunity to have a Q & A session with international manager Ian Baraclough.

What's your sporting highlight to date? Representing my country at school boy level in the Victory Shield and in other international friendlies. 

Best goal you've scored? A late equaliser against Rangers in the 2018 SuperCupNI for Club NI.

Bobby Harvey

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Age: 14

School: Belfast High School 

Hometown: Lurgan  

Position: Defender 

Club: Linfield 

What's your sporting highlight to date? Winning NI Cup for Lurgan Town against Glentoran.

Who is your sporting hero? Virgil van Dijk.

Best goal you've scored? A volley against Glentoran for Lurgan Town.

Josh Briggs

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Age: 14

School: Blessed Trinity College

Hometown: Belfast   

Position: Defender 

Club: Linfield

What's your sporting highlight to date? Playing in the SuperCupNI.

Best goal you've scored? Free-kick from halfway line.

Who is your sporting hero? Virgil van Dijk.

Brendan Hamilton

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Age: 14

School: St Malachy's College 

Hometown: Belfast  

Position: Defender 

Club: Glentoran 

What's your sporting highlight to date? SuperCupNI final.

Best team you have played against? Barcelona 

Best goal you've scored? Schools' Cup final.

Kai McCormick

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Age: 14

School: Carrickfergus Academy 

Hometown: Ballymena  

Position: Defender 

Club: Linfield 

Highlight of your time at the academy to date? Meeting Lee Cattermole.

Sporting highlight to date? Getting to the Madrid Cup and being captain for some of the games.

 

Caolán Donnelly

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Age: 15

School: Blessed Trinity College 

Hometown: Dundalk   

Position: Midfielder  

Club: Cliftonville  

Highlight of your time at the academy to date? Being able to get the Northern Ireland bus to Windsor and do ball boy for Northern Ireland against Germany.

What's your sporting highlight to date? Playing for Northern Ireland in the UEFA tournament.

Who is your sporting hero? Roy Keane.

Francis Turley

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Age: 14

School: St Malachy's College 

Hometown: Belfast   

Position: Midfielder  

Club: Glentoran  

What's your sporting highlight to date? Winning the league with Ardoyne.

What's the best team you have played against? Barcelona.

What's your favourite cheat meal? McDonald's.

Cormac Austin

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Age: 14

School: St Mary's Grammar School

Hometown: Belfast   

Position: Midfielder  

Club: Linfield  

What's your sporting highlight to date? Playing an international tournament.

Who is your sporting hero? Xavi Alonso.

Best goal you've scored? Against Cliftonville.

Reece Lyttle

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Age: 14

School: Belfast Boys' Model School

Hometown: Belfast   

Position: Midfielder  

Club: Glentoran  

What's the best goal you've scored? A free-kick against Rangers FC.

What's your sporting highlight to date? Scoring against Linfield. 

Best stadium you have visited? Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Christopher Cope

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Age: 15

School: St Malachy's College 

Hometown: Castlewellan   

Position: Midfielder  

Club: Glenavon FC

What's your highlights of your time at the academy to date? Being ball boy at the Northern Ireland game.

What's your sporting highlight to date? Being captain for NI against Germany.

Best goal you've scored? Free-kick vs Oliver Plunket in the last minute of extra-time to win 4-3.

Ethan Sousa

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Age: 15

School: St Mary's Boys' Christian Grammar School

Hometown: Newry   

Position: Attacker  

Club: Dundalk

What's your sporting highlight to date? Getting picked to play for my country.

What's the best goal you've scored? Goal from outside the box for Dundalk to win us the league.

Highlights of your time at the academy to date? The training sessions have improved me mentally and physically.

Callum Marshall

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Age: 15

School: Belfast Royal Academy

Hometown: Glengormley   

Position: Attacker 

Club: Linfield 

What's the best goal you've scored? Scored an overhead kick in the All-Ireland final against Cherry Orchard while playing for Glentoran. 

What's your sporting highlight to date? Scoring winner against Juventus few years ago.

Who is your sporting hero? George Best.

Luca Doherty

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Age: 15

School: Belfast High School

Hometown: Limavady   

Position: Attacker  

Club: Derry City 

What's the best goal you've scored? My best goal was against Portadown U16s for Northern Ireland from outside the box, top left corner.

Who is your sporting hero? Marcus Rashford, he is an inspiration on and off the pitch.

 

Jay McDowell

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Age: 14

School: St Mary's Boys' Christian Grammar School

Hometown: Banbridge   

Position: Attacker 

Club: Linfield  

What's your sporting highlight to date? Playing Barcelona. Even though we lost 4-0, it was still a lethal experience.

Are you enjoying being part of the Academy? Yes, definitely. It puts us through our paces. 

Do you play any other sports apart from football?played Gaelic football before I came to the academy.