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Thursday 11 Jan 2024
JD Academy team to face Australia this month

An Under-15/Under-16 team from the Irish FA JD Academy are set to take on Australia in an international friendly later this month.

The game against a U16/U17 Australia side will be staged at the Blanchflower Stadium, home of Harland and Wolff Welders, on Monday 22 January (7.30pm kick-off).

All the players in the 22-strong Northern Ireland squad for the friendly currently attend the Irish FA JD Academy. Based at Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus, it is Northern Ireland’s only full-time residential academy for young footballers.

Kris Lindsay is set to be in charge of the academy team.

Two members of the Northern Ireland squad faced the Australians last January in what is becoming a regular fixture to kick-start the year: Cliftonville midfielder Oili McCart and Linfield attacker Braiden Graham.

And Graham scored in the game - it was also staged at the Blanchflower - but Australia won it by five goals to two.

There’s free entry to the match in east Belfast on 22 January.

The Irish FA JD Academy squad for the friendly v Australia U16s/U17s:

Goalkeepers – Milo Beimers (Glentoran/Belfast High School), Cole Smyth (Derry City/Trinity College Belfast).

Defenders – Alex Watson (Linfield/St Killian’s Carnlough), Darragh McCann (Glentoran/Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Belfast), Noah McDonnell (Larne/Colaiste Feirste Belfast), Jayden Charnley (Glentoran/Ballyclare Secondary School), Leon Barr (Crusaders/Belfast Boys’ Model), Paul Stanfield (Cliftonville/St Malachy’s College Belfast), Jake Hirthe (Linfield/Belfast Boys’ Model).

Midfielders – Troy Savage (Glenavon/Bangor Academy), Jack Faloona (Glentoran/Our Lady and St Patrick’s), Caleb Sweeney (Greenisland/Belfast High), Matthew Burns (Coleraine/Belfast High), Emmett Morrison (Derry City/St Mary’s Christian Brothers’ Grammar School Belfast), Oilibhear McCart (Cliftonville/Colaiste Feirste).

Forwards – George Feeney (Glentoran/Ashfield Boys’ High Belfast), Brandon Downey (Crusaders/St Malachy’s College), Coran Madden (Cliftonville/St Mary’s CBGS), Ceadach O’Neill (Linfield/St Mary’s CBGS), Braiden Graham (Linfield/De La Salle College Belfast), Luke Hawe (Ballymena United/Belfast High), Harry Allen (Linfield/Carrickfergus Academy).

Image: Braiden Graham celebrates after scoring against the Australians last January.