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Wednesday 30 Aug 2023
Tommy Wright picks his first Northern Ireland U21s squad

New Northern Ireland Under-21 men’s team manager Tommy Wright has chosen a 23-strong panel for two Euro qualifiers next month.

The squad for Wright’s first set of matches following his appointment earlier this month features players who ply their trade in England, Scotland and at home. Five players from the NIFL Premiership are included.

A handful of the players called up by the new U21s boss have previously been in the senior international squad, namely Sam McClelland, Brodie Spencer, Charlie McCann, Callum Marshall and Josh Clarke.

The U21s last played almost a year ago, in two friendlies against Scotland, and only eight players who featured in those games are included this time, although several of those involved last September are no longer eligible to play for the U21s.

The one new face in the Northern Ireland international set-up is defender Craig Farquhar, who has been putting in strong performances for Larne in the NIFL Premiership this season.

Wright has also picked a handful of players who back in March were in the U19s squad that competed in the elite qualifying round for this summer’s U19 Euros, while the other players in the squad have all previously played for their country at U21, U19 or U17 level.

Northern Ireland’s U21s have been drawn in Group F for the UEFA U21 Euro 2025 qualifying series along with top seeds England, Ukraine, Serbia, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg.

They are set to face Luxembourg at home in the opening match of their qualification campaign. It will be played at Lurgan’s Mourneview Park on Thursday 7 September (2pm kick-off).

Game two will see them come up against second seeds Ukraine away on Tuesday 12 September. That game will be played at the Slovakian FA’s national training centre in Poprad (18.30 BST). 

The U21 squad for the games against Luxembourg and Ukraine is:

Goalkeepers: Dylan Berry (Havant and Waterlooville, on loan from Norwich City), Stephen McMullan (Fleetwood Town), Josh Clarke (Celtic).

Defenders: Carl Johnston (Fleetwood Town), Jack Scott (Linfield), Sam McClelland (St Johnstone), Brodie Spencer (Motherwell, on loan from Huddersfield Town), Sean Stewart (Cliftonville, on loan from Norwich City), Micheal Glynn (Larne), Michael Forbes (West Ham United), Craig Farquhar (Larne). 

Midfielders: Darren Robinson (Derby County), Terry Devlin (Portsmouth), Patrick Kelly (West Ham United), Charlie McCann (Forest Green Rovers), Jamie McDonnell (Nottingham Forest), Ross McCausland (Rangers), Charlie Allen (Leeds United), JJ McKiernan (Morecambe), Charlie Lindsay (Derby County).

Forwards: Callum Marshall (West Ham United), Chris McKee (Linfield), Ciaran McGuckin (Rotherham United).