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Thursday 08 Jun 2023
Michael O’Neill names squad for Euro 2024 qualifiers

Michael O’Neill will have 27 players at his disposal for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers against Denmark and Kazakhstan.

The Northern Ireland manager revealed he has expanded his panel from the usual 24 as a reward for players who have done well in training camps over the past three weeks and as cover for players who will not join the senior set-up until next week after lengthy domestic campaigns.

O’Neill has called up three new faces for the Group H qualifiers against Denmark (away) and Kazakhstan (home).

The newcomers are Larne striker Lee Bonis, West Ham United forward Callum Marshall and Nottingham Forest defender Aaron Donnelly.

Bonis, who helped Larne secure their first Irish League title this season, and Marshall, who starred in the West Ham U18 team that won the FA Youth Cup and their league, both impressed the boss with their attacking instincts during the training camps.

And Donnelly, who performed well while out on loan at Port Vale this term, also looked sharp at the gatherings.

Bonis (23) has previously represented his country at Under-21 level, while 18-year-old Marshall has played for the Under-19s and Donnelly, who celebrates his 20th birthday today, has been a key member of the U21s team in recent years.

 

Leicester City defender Jonny Evans, Preston North End midfielder Alistair McCann and Blackpool striker Shayne Lavery are all back in the panel after missing the first set of Euro 2024 qualifiers, against San Marino and Finland in March, due to injury.

And Glentoran winger Conor McMenamin, who was in the last squad but had to withdraw due to a persistent calf injury, is fit and raring to go again, too.

Everton midfielder Isaac Price and midfielder Sean Goss, who is out of contract with Motherwell, have retained their places in the panel after receiving their first senior call-ups in March.

Bolton Wanderers defender Eoin Toal, who was also called up for the first time in the last international window, was due to be in the squad again but has had to withdraw due to an ankle problem.

Returning to the fold are midfielder Ethan Galbraith, who is currently on the lookout for a new club after leaving Manchester United, and Portsmouth winger Paddy Lane. Neither player was involved in the games earlier this year.

Cameron McGeehan, who made his senior debut in March, is not included this time.

The Northern Ireland manager has had to contend with an extensive injury list ahead of the games against Denmark in Copenhagen on Friday 16 June and Kazakhstan in Belfast on Monday 19 June. 

Click on the image below to buy your tickets for Northern Ireland v Kazakhstan

Midfielders Steven Davis (Rangers), Corry Evans (Sunderland), Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) and Shane Ferguson (Rotherham United) are unavailable due to injury, while strikers Josh Magennis (Wigan Athletic), Conor Washington (Rotherham United) and Liam Boyce (Heart of Midlothian) plus Sunderland defender Daniel Ballard are all on the treatment table, too.

Ahead of final preparations in Belfast next week for the upcoming qualifiers, O’Neill said he had been impressed by the attitude and desire of the players in the training camps that both himself and assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl have been involved in over the past three weeks.

First up was a camp in Belfast for players largely in the U19 to U21 age bracket followed by a senior camp in St George’s Park in England last week. And this week senior players have been training at Champneys Springs in Leicestershire.

Northern Ireland squad for UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers against Denmark (a) and Kazakhstan (h):

Goalkeepers – Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Burnley), Conor Hazard (Celtic), Luke Southwood (Reading).

Defenders – Jonny Evans (Leicester City), Craig Cathcart (Watford), Jamal Lewis (Newcastle United), Ciaron Brown (Oxford United), Conor Bradley (Liverpool), Trai Hume (Sunderland), Eoin Toal (Bolton Wanderers), Aaron Donnelly (Nottingham Forest).

Midfielders – Paddy McNair (Middlesbrough), George Saville (Millwall), Jordan Thompson (Stoke City), Alistair McCann (Preston North End), Shea Charles (Manchester City), Paddy Lane (Portsmouth), Ethan Galbraith (unattached), Isaac Price (Everton), Sean Goss (unattached).

Forwards – Gavin Whyte (unattached), Shayne Lavery (Blackpool), Dion Charles (Bolton Wanderers), Conor McMenamin (Glentoran), Matthew Kennedy (Aberdeen), Dale Taylor (Nottingham Forest), Lee Bonis (Larne), Callum Marshall (West Ham United).