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Friday 13 Oct 2017
Murphy names ‘strong panel’ for U16 tournament

Head coach Darren Murphy believes he has selected “a strong panel” for Northern Ireland’s tilt at this year’s Victory Shield.

The Under-16 Schoolboys tournament is being organised by the Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association on behalf of the Schools’ Association Football International Board.

The 72nd Victory Shield will be staged from 22 October to 27 October, with all games being played at Crusaders FC’s Seaview Stadium in Belfast and at the Bangor Fuels Arena, home of Ards FC and Bangor FC.

Darren Murphy revealed he has given three Under-15 players from the Irish FA’s Club NI elite player development programme - Lewis MacKinnon, Caolan McBride and Conor Bradley - the opportunity to play a year up in the Victory Shield as seven Club NI U16s have been selected to play a year up for the U17 UEFA European Qualifiers taking place at the same time.

The shield was presented to SAFIB in 1947 to mark, as suggested by its title, victory by the Allies in World War II - and has been played for continuously since then. 

Northern Ireland have only won the shield once – in 2000-01 – since the current version was set up in 1947.

England have not entered for the past couple of years, so Northern Ireland’s U16s will be facing Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland in the 2017 tournament. 

The Northern Ireland Victory Shield 2017 squad features:

Goalkeepers – David Walsh (Killicomaine Junior High Portadown and Linfield), Callum Taylor (William De Ferrers Essex and Southend United);

Defenders – Jesse Carson (Lurgan Junior High School and Glenavon), Trai Hume (Slemish College Ballymena and Linfield), Dylan Boyle (Lurgan Junior High School and Ridgeway Rovers), Euan Devreney (Bearsden Academy Glasgow and Rangers), Lewis MacKinnon (Bangor Grammar School and Linfield), John McGivern (St Malachy’s College Belfast and Ridgeway Rovers).

Midfielders – Carl Johnson (Belfast Boys’ Model and Linfield), Chris Hutchinson (Markethill High School and Portadown), Gerard Storey (Edmund Rice College Glengormley and Ridgeway Rovers), Marito Marcel (St Patrick’s Dungannon and Dungannon Youth), Conor Bradley (Christian Brothers’ Grammar Omagh and St Patrick’s), Caolan McBride (St Malachy’s College Belfast and Glentoran), Ben Gallagher (Holy Cross College Strabane and Dungannon Youth), Barry Baggley (St Mary’s Christian Brothers’ Grammar School Belfast and Glentoran).

Forwards – Alberto Balde (Craigavon Senior High and Portadown), Aaron Brown (Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Linfield), Peter McKiernan (Edmund Rice College Glengormley and Cliftonville), Eoin Teggart (St Colman’s High School and Sixth Form College Ballynahinch and Cliftonville). 

SAFIB Victory Shield 2017 Match Schedule

Monday 23 October 1pm

Scotland v Wales

Seaview Stadium

Monday 23 October 3pm

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland

Bangor Fuels Arena

Wednesday 25 October 11am

Wales v Republic of Ireland

Bangor Fuels Arena

Wednesday 25 October 1pm

Northern Ireland v Scotland

Seaview Stadium

Friday 27 October 1pm

Republic of Ireland v Scotland

Bangor Fuels Arena 

Friday 27 October 5pm

Wales v Northern Ireland

Bangor Fuels Arena

Image: Northern Ireland’s U16s warmed up for the Victory Shield with a game against Brazil U16s in Dungannon. They lost the game 2-0.