JD Club NI’s 2004 squad could potentially face some of the best young players from across Europe and beyond during the Easter break.
The Under-15 side from Northern Ireland will be taking part in the Rotterdam Cup in the Netherlands this weekend.
The U15 entry list for the annual Sport Chain-sponsored competition includes the likes of Atletico Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Hoffenheim, RB Leipzig, Hajduk Split, Club Brugge and Vancouver Whitecaps from Canada.
The 2004 squad from the Irish FA’s elite development programme, who are coached by Gerald Lyttle, face a hectic schedule over a three-day period.
They begin their Rotterdam Cup campaign on Saturday (20 April) morning with a game against Canadian team Excellence Soccer Academie. On Saturday afternoon they will face Finnish outfit Kapylan Pallo and that evening Lyttle’s side will take on the U15 academy side from German Bundesliga club Hoffenheim.
The following day they will complete their group games (Group D) schedule with fixtures against Belgian team Club Brugge and Danish outfit Brondby.
The semi-finals and finals to determine overall ranking positions in the 11-a-side tournament will be staged on Easter Monday (22 April).
Head coach Lyttle has chosen an 18-strong panel for the tournament in the Netherlands – and half of them are Glentoran players. There are three Glens players among the defenders called up, another three in the midfield department and a further three in the forwards line-up.
JD Club NI U15s squad for 2019 Rotterdam Cup:
Goalkeepers – Billy McDowell (Coleraine), Alex Henderson (Coleraine).
Defenders – Jake Wallace (Glentoran), Michael Forbes (Dungannon United Youth), Josh Roney (Portadown), Bobby Deane (Derry City), Aaron Wightman (Glentoran), Joe Hopes (Glentoran).
Midfielders – Harry Wilson (Glentoran), Dylan Sloan (Glentoran), Jamie McDonnell (Glentoran), Oliver Lamb (Middlesbrough), Oisin Gallagher (Derry City), Conor Scannell (Cliftonville).
Forwards – Charlie Lindsay (Glentoran), Matthew Carson (Glentoran), Conor Falls (Glentoran), Mackenzie Kirk (Heart of Midlothian).
Image: Charlie Lindsay, seen here in action against Manchester United at last year’s SuperCup NI, is among nine Glentoran U15 players heading for Holland with JD Club NI this weekend.