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Friday 30 Aug 2019
NI U21 squad | Scott and Brown are newcomers to U21s panel for Euro qualifiers

Two new faces to the Northern Ireland set-up have been included in the U21s squad for Euro qualifiers against Malta and Finland next month.

Northern Ireland U21s boss Ian Baraclough has called up Southampton goalkeeper Tommy Scott and Cardiff City defender Ciaron Brown to his panel for the first time.

Neither 19-year-old Scott, who signed for the Saints from Yeovil Town this summer, nor Brown, who was on loan at Scottish side Livingston last season after signing for Cardiff in January 2018, have played for Northern Ireland at any age level before.

The remainder of the group, however, is a mixture of established U21 players and a handful stepping up from the U19s.

Northern Ireland’s 2021 U21 Euros qualifying campaign gets under way with a game against Malta at Ballymena Showgrounds next Friday (6 September, 7.45pm start) followed by an away game against Finland on Tuesday 10 September. They will also face Denmark, Romania and Ukraine in Group B.

David Parkhouse, who is on fire for Derry City this season, is among the strikers along with Linfield’s Shayne Lavery, who has been in fine form since signing for the Blues following his departure from Everton earlier in the summer. Lewis McCann of Dunfermline is the other forward in the panel.

Celtic 'keeper Conor Hazard, who has been in senior squads lately, is also included alongside Hearts defender Bobby Burns, another player with senior squad experience.

Manchester United midfielder Ethan Galbraith and Leeds United midfielder Alfie McCalmont, who played for Leeds in the Carabao Cup earlier this week, have stepped up from the U19s, although they did play for the U21s during a training camp in Spain back in March and in a behind-closed-doors game against England in June.

Several of the players in Baraclough’s squad were also at that camp in Estepona, during which they registered impressive wins over Mexico and Bulgaria in practice matches, and featured against England.