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.
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.”