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Tuesday 11 Sep 2018
Motherwell defender to become Northern Ireland U21 record breaker

Captain Liam Donnelly will break the record for most capped Northern Ireland Under-21 player should he play against Spain tonight. 

The Under-21s take on Spain in the Carlos Belmonte Stadium (Tuesday 11 September) at 17:45 UK time in one of three remaining EURO Qualifiers. 

Motherwell defender Donnelly first appeared for the Under-21s at the age of 16 against England in 2012. Six years later he is set to become a Northern Ireland record breaker. 

The Dungannon man came on as a second half substitute as the Under-21s beat Luxembourg last week during a EURO warm-up match. This allowed Liam to equal the record of 21 appearances. 

"It's a big honour to break the record so hopefully I can do that tonight." Liam said. 

Current record holder and former Dungannon Swifts teammate of Donnelly, Sean Friars, earned 21 caps between 1998 and 2001.

“It's been a record for a long time held by Sean. It will be nice to take the record off someone I know and I think he'll be happy and won't hold any grudges." he revealed. 

The former Fulham and Hartlepool youngster made his senior international debut as a late substitute against Chile battling against Alexis Sanchez and co on the 5th June 2014. 

He is yet to make another appearance for Michael O'Neill's side but is keen to get involved again. 

"When I finish this campaign off that's the aim to get back into that squad so hopefully I can do enough at Motherwell to do that.

"I'd spoke to Trev before going to Motherwell (Senior Northern Ireland and Motherwell goalkeeper Trevor Carson) and it's a great platform to go out and show what you can do in Scotland. Michael (O'Neill) has shown that by picking players from the league so hopefully I can be the next one."

With two games left after Spain, Donnelly will have the opportunity to add to his potential 22 appearance record against Iceland and Slovakia should he keep himself available. 

You can see a selection of images from throughout Liam's international career in the gallery below.