Northern Ireland’s Under-15 Schoolboys side will be jetting off to continental Europe next week to play two international friendlies against Austria’s U15s.
Manager Darren Murphy has named an 18-strong squad for the games on 20 and 22 June. He says the fixtures are vital for the development of the U15 squad.
“It is important for the U15 players to be constantly challenged and the up and coming fixtures against Austria will certainly do that,” he said.
“Last year we had two fantastic games against the Austrians, drawing one and losing the other. These fixtures give players an insight into the levels they need to reach so that we are competitive when it comes to games at U17 and U19 European level.
“I would like to thank the Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association for all their hard work in securing these fixtures and the further internationals that have been arranged for later in the year in preparation for the Victory Shield in October.”
The matches will be played in stadiums in Eggendorf and Enzesfeld-Lindabrunn in eastern Austria.
The 18-strong squad for the games next Tuesday and Thursday features: David Walsh (Linfield); Ruadhan McKenna (Portadown); Peter Bell (Dungannon United Youth); Dylan Boyle (Ridgeway Rovers); Trai Hume (Linfield); Chris Hutchinson (Portadown); Michael Glynn (Ballinamallard United); Ben Wylie and Carl Johnston (both Linfield); Gerard Storey (Ridgeway Rovers); Alberto Almanzar (Portadown); Barry Baggley (Glentoran); John McGivern (Ridgeway Rovers); Jessie Carson (Linfield); Naseem Ouldhamlat (Glentoran); Aidan Steele (Cliftonville); George Tipton (Ridgeway Rovers) and Peter McKiernan (Cliftonville).