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Monday 27 Mar 2023
U16s set to take part in UEFA development tournament in Poland

A Northern Ireland U16 development team are in Poland this week to compete in a UEFA development tournament.

South Africa are the guest team at the four-team mini tournament in north-west Poland which also features Poland and Luxembourg.

Northern Ireland’s first game is being staged later today (27 March) when they will be up against the South Africans (2pm start BST). The venue is the Osir Stadium in the town of Police.

On Wednesday the U16s will face Luxembourg at the same venue (2pm kick-off BST) and they are back in Police on Friday to take on tournament hosts Poland (9.30am start BST).

Coaches Michael McClean and Michael O’Connor have chosen a 20-strong panel for the matches.

New faces in the Northern Ireland youth set-up include Leeds United goalkeeper Owen Grainger and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Aodhan Sopala.

Half the squad play their club football for Linfield, while three members of the panel are with Derry City.

And nine members of the squad attend the Irish FA JD Academy in collaboration with UEFA which is based at Ulster University Jordanstown.

Northern Ireland U16 development squad:

Goalkeepers – Josh Gracey (Glenavon), Owen Grainger (Leeds United).

Defenders – Conor Haughey (Glentoran), Conor McVeigh, James Simpson, Noah McDonnell and Alex Watson (all Linfield), Caoimhan McDermott (Derry City).

Midfielders – Blaine McClure, Calum Burnside and Dylan Stitt (all Linfield), Jack Doherty and Fionn Duffy (both Derry City), Aodhan Sopala (Sheffield Wednesday).

Forwards – Braiden Graham, Kenzie Beattie (pictured) and Cole Brannigan (all Linfield), Chris Atherton (Glenavon), George Feeney (Glentoran), Sean Corry (Ballinamallard United).