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Monday 16 May 2022
Baraclough selects 26-strong squad for training camp

Ian Baraclough will be working with several younger players at this week’s four-day training camp in England. 

With a raft of senior players still heavily involved with club football, the Northern Ireland boss has put together a youthful group for the gathering at St George’s Park. 

Baraclough previously said the camp, which gets under way today, will provide an opportunity to assess the fitness levels of regular squad members and to bring players from both the U21s and U19s into the senior set-up to see how it operates. 

“It will enable the younger players to showcase what they’re all about and increase their experience of international football with the senior team coaches and players,” he explained. 

Glentoran striker Conor McMenamin, who had a terrific season in the NIFL Danske Bank Premiership, is the only player in the 26-strong group who has not previously represented his country at any level. 

However, the 26-year-old is not the only player representing the Irish League at the get-together. Larne defender Kofi Balmer, Dungannon Swifts midfielder Terry Devlin and Glenavon goalkeeper Josh Clarke are also there. 

The camp is part of the preparations for four UEFA Nations League fixtures next month. 

Northern Ireland, the top seeds in Group 2 in League C of the 2022-23 edition of the competition, will begin their latest Nations League campaign with a game against second seeds Greece at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park on Thursday 2 June (7.45pm).

Baraclough’s team will then play fourth seeds Cyprus away on Sunday 5 June at the AEK Arena in Larnaca (5pm start UK time) followed by another away fixture against third seeds Kosovo on Thursday 9 June (7.45pm UK time). That game is being played at Stadiumi Fadil Vokrri in Pristina. 

Their fourth and final fixture in June is a home match against Cyprus on Sunday the 12th (2pm start).

Northern Ireland squad for May 2022 training camp: 

Goalkeepers – Luke Southwood (Reading), Dermot Mee (Manchester United), Josh Clarke (Glenavon). 

Defenders – Ciaron Brown (Oxford United, on loan from Cardiff City), Michael Forbes (West Ham United), Paddy Lane (Fleetwood Town), Shea Charles (Manchester City), Sam McClelland (Chelsea), Brodie Spencer (Huddersfield Town), Sean Stewart (Norwich City), Kofi Balmer (Larne), Ruairi McConville (Brighton and Hove Albion). 

Midfielders – Alistair McCann (Preston North End), Alfie McCalmont (Morecambe, on loan from Leeds United), Oisin Smyth (Oxford United), Caolan Boyd-Munce (Middlesbrough), Terry Devlin (Dungannon Swifts), Barry Baggley (Fleetwood Town), Charlie Allen (Leeds United), Darren Robinson (Derby County). 

Forwards – Conor Washington (Charlton Athletic), Shayne Lavery (Blackpool), Gavin Whyte (Oxford United, on loan from Cardiff City), Dion Charles (Bolton Wanderers), Paul Smyth (Leyton Orient), Conor McMenamin (Glentoran).