Arsenal youth product Daniel Ballard has been called up to the Northern Ireland senior men’s international squad.
Ballard, 19, has been named in manager Michael O’Neill’s 27-strong panel for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers against Estonia and Belarus.
The towering centre-back is a mainstay with Freddie Ljunberg’s Under-23 squad and last year signed his first professional contract with the Gunners. He also captained the squad that reached the 2018 FA Youth Cup final.
Clean sheet ✅— Northern Ireland (@NorthernIreland) October 12, 2018
Clearance off the line ✅
Last minute goal ✅
🎥 Watch how @Arsenal defender @dg_ballard helped secure a dramatic victory against Iceland for our Under-21s 👇🏻 #GAWA pic.twitter.com/9MGviWkjVB
Ballard has played four times for Ian Baraclough’s Northern Ireland Under-21s and scored the winner against Iceland in October’s Euro Under-21 qualifier in Reykjavik.
“At Under-19s or at U21s, when I put the green shirt on it’s a feeling of pride,” Ballard said. I want to do well when I represent my country.
“To do that for the first team would be amazing. It’s always been a dream and I’ll keep dreaming until it comes true.”