Sign up to the Irish FA Newsletter today

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news from the Irish FA including ticket updates, match information, competitions, articles and much more.
Thank you

Tuesday 16 Jan 2024
U18 Schoolboys to face Australia next week

Northern Ireland’s Under-18 Schoolboys’ team are gearing up to face their Australian counterparts next week.

The international friendly is part of preparations for the annual Centenary Shield competition, which gets under way at the end of next month.

The game against a U18/U19 Australia side is due to be staged at the Blanchflower Stadium, home of Harland and Wolff Welders, on Monday (22 January), with a 4pm kick-off and a £5 entry fee.

Simon Nicks is managing the Northern Ireland Schools’ FA-run team - it is supported by the Irish FA Foundation - and he has chosen an 18-strong panel for the game against the Australians and two matches away to Jersey Select teams at the end of January.

Nicks is being assisted by coaches Richard Clarke and Neil McCaughey along with goalkeeping coach Eamon Curry.

The U18 Schoolboys are due to kick off their Centenary Shield campaign with a game against England at the Blanchflower Stadium on Friday 23 February (7pm start).

Two players in the latest U18 squad were included in the panel for the annual challenge match against Australia last year. Defender Callan Farley started that game a year ago – Australia won 3-1 – and goalkeeper Ryan Kerr was an unused substitute.

Meanwhile, also next Monday at the same venue in east Belfast, an Irish FA JD Academy U15/U16 side will face a U16/U17 Australia Schoolboys’ side. It’s a 7.30pm kick-off for that one and entry is free.

The Northern Ireland Under-18 Schoolboys squad for the upcoming friendly v Australia U18s/U19s:

Goalkeepers – Ryan Kerr (Breda Academy/Crusaders), Joshua Gracey (Belfast High School/Glenavon).

Defenders – Callan Farley (Ashfield Boys’ High Belfast/Glentoran), Harry Lynch (Abbey CBS Newry/Glenavon), Logan Graham (Larne High/Larne), Jonathan James (Down High School Downpatrick/Crusaders), Owen O’Neill (Our Lady and St Patrick’s Belfast/Glentoran).

Midfielders – Jack McLaughlin (St Joseph’s Derry-Londonderry/Derry City), Jude Johnson (Ashfield Boys’ High/Glentoran), James Douglas (Our Lady and St Patrick’s/Glentoran), Alfie Gaston (Dalriada School Ballymoney/Coleraine), Senan Devine (Loreto College Coleraine/Coleraine), Casey Smyth (Ashfield Boys’ High/Glentoran), Michael Harkin (St Patrick’s College Maghera/Coleraine), Oisin Devlin (St Columb’s College Derry-Londonderry/Institute).

Forwards – Sam McClintock (Lisneal College Derry-Londonderry/Coleraine), Jack Hastings (Larne High/Larne), Karter Bond (Belfast Metropolitan College/Crusaders).

Image: Action from last year’s encounter between the Northern Ireland U18 Schoolboys’ team and the Australians.