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Friday 22 Oct 2021
Northern Ireland U17s set to compete in Euro qualifiers

Northern Ireland Under-17s boss Gerard Lyttle has chosen a 20-strong panel to compete in Euro qualifiers next week.

The Irish Football Association is hosting all matches in Group 12 of the UEFA Under-17 Euros preliminary round.

The group features Italy, Scotland and Albania alongside Northern Ireland and matchday one will see Gerard Lyttle’s U17 side face Scotland at Mourneview Park in Lurgan next Wednesday (27 October) at 3pm.

And on the same day at Shamrock Park in Portadown the Italians and Albanians will meet (7pm kick-off).

Inver Park in Larne is set to host Northern Ireland’s second match in the mini tournament, with Italy providing the opposition on Saturday 30 October (3pm). And on the same day at 7pm the Scots and Albanians will clash at Seaview in Belfast.

The final matches in the group will be on Tuesday 2 November, with both games starting at 3pm. Northern Ireland are due to play against Albania at The Oval in Belfast and Scotland and Italy are scheduled to meet at Shamrock Park.

Lyttle’s panel features four Larne players and three Derry City players. Just under half of the group are attached to clubs from the NIFL Danske Bank Premiership, while the others ply their trade at Premier League, Scottish Premiership, EFL Championship/League One and League of Ireland teams.

Italy are the top seeds in Group 12 and Scotland are the second seeds, while Northern Ireland are third seeds and Albania are the lowest ranked team.

The top two teams in 13 qualifying groups will join top seeds Netherlands and Spain in the spring 2022 elite round along with the four third-placed teams with the best records against the top two in their section.

From there 15 teams will qualify to join hosts Israel at the UEFA U17 European Championship finals in May 2022.

Northern Ireland U17s squad:

Goalkeepers – Pierce Charles (Sheffield Wednesday), Kai McClean (Celtic).

Defenders – Reece Jordan (Portadown), Ruairi McConville (Brighton and Hove Albion), Darragh McCloskey (Derry City), Daithi McCallion (Derry City), Odhran McCart (Larne), Sean Brown (Larne), Brendan Hamilton (Glentoran).

Midfielders – BobbyJack McAlease (Coleraine), Jack Patterson (Crusaders), Caolan Donnelly (Larne), Joel Thompson (Crusaders), Rio Morgan (Ipswich Town).

Forwards – Luca Doherty (Derry City), Ethan Sousa (Dundalk), Shea Brennan (Larne), Omari Kellyman (Derby County), Leon Boyd (Linfield), Sam Glenfield (Portadown).