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Wednesday 17 Apr 2019
Frankie Wilson’s unbeaten U18 team aiming to secure trophy by avoiding defeat

The Northern Ireland Under-18 Schoolboys team can lift the Centenary Shield if they win or draw against Republic of Ireland Schoolboys later this week.

Northern Ireland have already notched up seven points after two wins and a draw – and if they avoid defeat against the Republic in Belfast on Thursday (18 April) they will win this year’s competition outright.

England also have seven points but have played all their games in the five-team U18 Schoolboys tournament and can now only hope for a share of the SAFIB (Schools Association Football International Board) trophy.

Two 1-0 victories – against Scotland and Wales – and a goalless draw with England last time out have put Frankie Wilson’s Northern Ireland side in pole position to win the competition.

For the game against the Republic, who only have a point from two games but could still grab a share of the prize if they win their remaining two fixtures, Wilson has chosen an 18-strong panel. The match is being played at Queen’s University Belfast’s Dub complex (6pm).

Josh Largo-Ellis (St Michael’s Enniskillen/Ballinamallard United), Malachy Smith (Breda Academy/Glentoran), Jack Bradley (St Joseph’s Boys’ Derry-Londonderry/Coleraine) and Trai Hume (NIFL Academy/Linfield), who all missed the England game, are back in the panel.

And midfielder Sean Og Gallagher (Trinity College Belfast/Glentoran) has retained his place in the squad after receiving his first call-up for the match against England earlier this month.

Missing out this time are Callum McVeigh (Down High School/Linfield) andEthan Wynne (Bangor Academy/Linfield), who scored the goal in the 1-0 win away to Wales.

Northern Ireland U18 Schoolboys squad for 2019 Centenary Shield game v Republic of Ireland U18 Schoolboys:

Goalkeepers - Ruadhan McKenna (Rathmore Grammar/Cliftonville), Paul McLaughlin (Christian Brothers Belfast/Glentoran).

Defenders - Jamie Glover (Ashfield Boys’ High/Glentoran), Josh Largo-Ellis (St Michael’s Enniskillen/Ballinamallard United), Malachy Smith (Breda Academy/Glentoran), Ruari O’Hare(St Patrick’s Downpatrick/Linfield), Patrick Burns (captain - St Malachy’s Belfast/Glenavon).

Midfielders – Lewis McGarvey (St Malachy’s Belfast/Glentoran), Andrew Whiteside (Coleraine GS/Coleraine), Jack Bradley (St Joseph’s Boys’ Derry-Londonderry/Coleraine), Trai Hume (NIFL Academy/Linfield), Sean Og Gallagher (Trinity College Belfast/Glentoran), Jake Corbett (SERC Lisburn/Linfield), Liam Hassin (Larne High/Larne), Sam Robb (Fivemiletown College/Ballinamallard United),  Ryan Carmichael (St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon/Portadown). 

Forwards – Calvin McCurry (De La Salle Belfast/St Oliver Plunkett), Callum Ferris (NIFL Academy/Portadown).