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Thursday 09 Nov 2023
Tommy Wright reveals U21s squad for England game

Tommy Wright has made three changes to his squad for this month’s UEFA U21 Euro 2025 qualifier against England.

The Under-21s are due to face the Group F top seeds at Goodison Park in Liverpool on Tuesday 21 November (7.45pm kick-off).

U21s boss Wright has called up three new faces in Everton midfielder Sean McAllister, Southampton defender Matty Carson and Dungannon Swifts defender Ethan McGee.

Four players who were in the panel for last month’s qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Serbia are not included this time.

Wright said McGee deserves his first call-up to the Northern Ireland international set-up after playing well for Dungannon this season.

The Under-21s manager pointed out Matty Carson, who has previously played for Northern Ireland at various underage levels, deserves his chance, too.

And Wright further said he is looking forward to working with Everton midfielder McAllister, who has played for Northern Ireland’s U19s and U17s in the past but has not featured for the U21s to date due to injury.

Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ruairi McConville, who was a late call-up up to the U21s for the Serbia game last month after Aaron Donnelly was sent off in Azerbaijan, has kept his place in the panel, although he will be playing for the U19s in a mini tournament before joining up with the squad for the game against England at the home of Everton FC.

The four players missing out this time include St Johnstone defender Sam McClelland and Cliftonville defender Sean Stewart (on loan from Norwich City), who are both unavailable due to injury.

Larne midfielder Micheal Glynn and Airdrieonians attacker Liam McStravick, meanwhile, have dropped to the standby list.

Everton goalkeeper Fraser Barnsley and Crystal Palace midfielder Justin Devenny, who were both called up to the Northern Ireland international set-up for the first time last month, have retained their places in the 23-strong squad.

The U21s have three points from their four games in Group F to date. They lost 1-0 at home to Luxembourg and 1-0 away to Ukraine in September before defeating Azerbaijan 1-0 away and losing 2-1 to Serbia at home last month.

Above: Leeds United's Charlie Allen in action for Northern Ireland's U21s

England have won two and lost one of their games to date. They defeated Luxembourg 3-0 away in September before hammering Serbia 9-1 at home last month. Their defeat came against table toppers Ukraine in October. The Ukrainians won the game - it was played in Slovakia due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War - by three goals to two.

Northern Ireland U21s squad for the game against England:

Goalkeepers – Fraser Barnsley (Everton), Stephen McMullan (Fleetwood Town), Josh Clarke (Celtic).

Defenders – Carl Johnston (Fleetwood Town), Aaron Donnelly (Dundee, on loan from Nottingham Forest), Tommy Fogarty (Birmingham City), Michael Forbes (West Ham United), Ruairi McConville (Brighton and Hove Albion), Darren Robinson (Derby County), Ethan McGee (Dungannon Swifts), Matthew Carson (Southampton).

Midfielders – Justin Devenny (Crystal Palace), Terry Devlin (Portsmouth), Patrick Kelly (West Ham United), Charlie McCann (Forest Green Rovers), Jamie McDonnell (Nottingham Forest), JJ McKiernan (Morecambe), Charlie Allen (Leeds United), Sean McAllister (Everton).

Forwards - Ross McCausland (Rangers), Charlie Lindsay (Derby County), Chris McKee (Linfield), Ciaran McGuckin (Rotherham United).