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Wednesday 15 Mar 2023
Squad for U17 Euro 2023 elite qualifying round is revealed

The Northern Ireland squad that will compete in the elite qualifying round for U17 Euro 2023 has been named.

A 20-strong Under-17 panel has been chosen for a four-team mini tournament being staged in the Netherlands later this month.

The U17s will be up against the Dutch, England and Denmark in Group 3 in stage two of the 2022-23 UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifiers.

The Northern Ireland panel shows eight changes from the squad that qualified for the elite group.

New to the panel this time around are Rangers goalkeeper Mason Munn, Blackburn Rovers defender Tom Atcheson and Linfield defender Callum Cowan.

Also new are the midfield trio of Callum McCay (Derry City), Casey Smyth (Glentoran) and Aodhan Doherty (Linfield) along with Larne forward Jack Hastings and Liverpool striker Kieran Morrison.

Matchday one in Group 3 will see Northern Ireland U17s take on the Dutch at Sportpark SJC in Noordwijk on Wednesday 22 March (6pm kick-off UK time).

And they will return to the same venue on Saturday 25 March to play England (12 noon start UK time).

Their final match in the group is also being staged at Sportpark SJC. Denmark will provide the opposition on Tuesday 28 March (6pm KO UK time).

Northern Ireland’s Under-17s secured a place in the elite qualifying round for U17 Euro 2023 - the final tournament is being staged in Hungary this summer - after finishing third in their group in the first qualifying round.

Gerard Lyttle’s side played three games in that round back in the autumn, recording a win against hosts Malta, a defeat to second-placed Scotland and a draw against group winners Czechia (Czech Republic).

Under the competition rules the top two teams in each group in the initial round automatically joined top seeds Netherlands and Spain in the spring 2023 elite round along with the four third-placed teams with the best records against the top two in their section – and third-placed Northern Ireland fell into that category.

The draw against the Czechs in Group 4 counted for an extra point under UEFA rules for development football - and that confirmed their qualification for the elite round.

Lyttle, who manages Northern Ireland’s U19s and U17s, will be in charge of the U19s for their elite qualifying round in France while the U17s are playing in the Netherlands. Sean-Paul Murray and Kris Lindsay have been drafted in to coach the U17s instead.

Northern Ireland U17s squad for UEFA U17 Euro 2023 qualifiers (elite round):

Goalkeepers – Mason Munn (Rangers), Lorcan Donnelly (Glentoran).

Defenders – Josh Briggs (West Ham United), Adhamh Patton (Derry City), Calum Moreland (Linfield), Tom Atcheson (Blackburn Rovers), Brendan Hamilton (Aberdeen), Harry Lynch (Glenavon), Callum Cowan (Linfield).

Midfielders – Francis Turley (Celtic), Ryan Donnelly (pictured) (Dungannon Swifts), James Douglas (Glentoran), Callum McCay (Derry City), Casey Smyth (Glentoran), Aodhan Doherty (Linfield).

Forwards - Jack Hastings (Larne), Rhys Walsh (Glentoran), Oscar Kelly (Rochdale), Ciaran O’Hara (Coleraine), Kieran Morrison (Liverpool).