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Friday 05 Oct 2018
Manager McConkey names 18-strong panel for three qualifiers

Northern Ireland Junior International manager Harry McConkey has unveiled his squad for a UEFA Regions’ Cup intermediate stage mini tournament later this month.

The main body of the 18-strong panel has been formed from Eastern v Western Region qualifiers staged back in May - Eastern Region won a two-legged play-off 6-0 on aggregate - as well as a Junior international against the Republic of Ireland in August plus various preparation sessions.

The Regions’ Cup mini tournament will get under way with Russia (South Region – Chayka) facing Amateurs FYR Macedonia at Coleraine Showgrounds on Thursday 18 October (2pm).

Northern Ireland’s first qualifier will see them take on Portugal (Braga) at Stangmore Park in Dungannon later that day (7.30pm).

Matchday two is Sunday 21 October. Russia and Portugal are set to meet at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park (noon start) that day, while Northern Ireland and Amateurs FYR Macedonia will clash at the same venue at 5.30pm.

On Wednesday 24 October the mini tournament will draw to a close with Northern Ireland v Russia at Mourneview Park in Lurgan (7.30pm) and Amateurs FYR Macedonia against Portugal at Shamrock Park in Portadown (also 7.30pm start).

The entry fee to all games is £3, while concessions will get in free of charge.

The winners of eight intermediate round groups will compete in the Regions’ Cup finals next June. The finals will be hosted by one of the qualifiers.

Four intermediate round groups have already been staged. Hradec Králové (CZE), Ligue de Normandie (FRA), West Slovakia (SVK) and Bavaria (GER) respectively won their groups to progress to the final stage.

Northern Ireland’s final warm-up game before the mini tournament will see them take on the Republic in a friendly in Dublin next Wednesday. 

Northern Ireland squad for UEFA Regions Cup mini tournament: 

Goalkeepers – Jordan Williamson (PSNI), Dean Smyth (Knockbreda);

Defenders – Chris Middleton (Queen’s University), William Armstrong and Scott McMillan (both Harland & Wolff Welders), Jamie Patterson (Knockbreda), Joe Reid (Lisburn Distillery), Aaron Rodgers (Lurgan Celtic);

Midfielders – Barry McKervey (Crumlin Star), Dylan Wilson (PSNI), Jordan Gibson (Loughgall), Adam Gray (Ballyclare Comrades), Martin Bradley (Immaculata), Terry McGrath (St James’ Swifts), Lewis Irwin (H&W Welders);

Forwards – Chris Watts (Dundela), Ricky Thompson (Dollingstown United), Adam McDonald (Dromara Village).

Image: Action from one of the play-off games between Eastern Region and Western Region which determined who would represent Northern Ireland in this month’s UEFA Regions’ Cup mini tournament.