Northern Ireland’s U16s are set to face Estonia’s U16s twice in challenge matches this week.
The games will kick-start preparations for the Victory Shield in November when the Northern Ireland U16 Schoolboys will be looking to retain the trophy.
U16s manager Gerard Lyttle believes he has “a strong squad” for this week’s games, the first of which is being played at Knockbreda this evening (19 August), with a 6.45 start.
“This year, like previous years, has proved difficult regarding squad selection as competition for places has been as strong as ever,” he revealed.
“This is an important first step into international football and we hope that the boys enjoy the experience as part of their football development.”
The second game against the Estonians is being staged on Wednesday (21 August) at Stangmore Park in Dungannon (7pm kick-off).
Next month the U16 Schoolboys will be playing two friendlies against Finland away and in mid-October they will play two home challenge games against Poland before heading to the four-team Victory Shield tournament in Wales at the end of October.
Northern Ireland Under-16 squad to face Estonia:
Goalkeepers - Billy McDowell (Coleraine), Alex Henderson (Coleraine).
Defenders – Jake Wallace (Glentoran), Michael Forbes (Dungannon United Youth), Josh Roney (Portadown), Callan Devlin (Dungannon United Youth), Bobby Deane (Derry City), Ruairi McConville (Linfield).
Midfielders – Harry Wilson (Glentoran), Jamie McDonnell (Glentoran), Lewis Tosh (Coleraine), Brodie Spencer (Cliftonville).
Forwards – Cameron Crook (Dungannon United Youth), Elliott Wood (Glentoran), Conor Scannell (Cliftonville), Callum Marshall (Glentoran), Charlie Lindsay (Glentoran), Ethan Sousa (Dundalk).
Image: Ethan Sousa is in the U16 squad for the friendlies against Estonia.