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International News (53)

U15’s travel to Austria for double header

Northern Ireland U15 manager Darren Murphy has named a 18 man squad to travel to Austria next week for two international friendlies against Austria U15’s.  Murphy knows that the fixture is vital for the development of the U15 squad “It is important for the U15 players to be constantly challenged and the up and coming fixtures v Austria will certainly do that. Last year we had 2 fantastic games v Austria, drawing one and losing the other. These fixtures give the players an insight, to the levels they need to get to so that we are completive when it comes to U17,U19 Euro level. I would like to thank the Northern Ireland Schools Football Association for all their hard work in securing these fixtures and the further Internationals that have been arranged for later in the year in preparation for the Victory shield in October.


The 18 man squad can be seen below:

David Walsh - Linfield

Ruadhan McKenna – Portadown

Peter Bell – Dungannon Utd

Dylan Boyle – Ridgeway Rovers

Trai Hume – Linfield

Chris Hutchinson – Portadown

Michael Glynn – Ballinamallard

Ben Wylie – Linfield

Carl Johnston – Linfield

Gerard Storey – Ridgeway Rovers

Alberto Almanzar – Portadown

Barry Baggley – Glentoran

John McGivern – Ridgeway Rovers

Jessie Carson – Linfield

Naseem Ouldhamlat – Glentoran

Aidan Steele – Cliftonville

George Tipton – Ridgeway Rovers

Peter McKiernan – Cliftonville


Northern Ireland U15 secure second home win

The Northern Ireland Under 15 team continued their fine form by recording a second 2-1 victory over Slovakia at Newry.

The home team started brightly and went in front after 22 minutes.  A period of intense pressure saw Alberto Balde crash a shot against the bar and when Ben Wylie fired in the rebound a Slovak defender handled the ball.  Chris McKee stepped up to slot the penalty kick low inside the post.

On the half hour Slovakia came close with a powerful free kick by Tomas Suslov which David Walsh tipped over the bar.

After the interval Slovakia came more into the game but Northern Ireland were always dangerous on the break and it was a breakaway after 65 minutes which produced a second goal for the home team.  Peter McKiernan and Barry Baggley carved open the visitors defence but Baggley's shot was deflected for a corner.  Jessie Carson, who had scored a spectacular goal on Monday, met the corner kick to crash an unstoppable volley into the corner of the net. 

Slovakia pressed strongly but found Walsh in fine form, saving from Matej Rosenberger and Adrian Mojzis.  With 7 minutes remaining Slovakia were awarded a penalty when Matus Capko was brought down and Sebastian Nebyla confidently converted the spot kick.


Northern Ireland

David Walsh

Carl Johnson

Aaron Brown

Trai Hume

John McGovern

Jessie Carson

Ben Wylie (c)

Alberto Balde

Gerald Storey

Chris McKee

Adrien Steele


Matthew Smith (replaced Brown 38 minutes)

Peter McKiernan (replaced McKee 57 minutes)

Barry Baggley (replaced Steele 60 minutes)

Harry Anderson (replaced Balde 67 minutes)

U15 secure first win of the season

The Northern Ireland Under 15 team began their season in fine style with a well deserved 2-1 victory over Slovakia at Knockbreda.
The home team got off to a great start when Jessie Carson crashed an unstoppable shot into the net from 20 yards.  Carson had only been on the field two minutes, replacing the injured Jack Scott.
Ten minutes later Michael Glynn doubled the lead netting from close range following a period of intense pressure.
The visitors improved after the break and David Walsh did well to keep out a shot from Matej Rosenberger.  Northern Ireland were dangerous on the break and George Tipton and Peter Bell went close with headers.  Alberto Balde was a constant threat and should have increased the lead when he broke through but lost control with only the keeper to beat.
With 5 minutes remaining Slovakia got a consolation goal when Marcel Novak finished off a flowing move, getting on the end of a cross from Patrik Majkut to beat Walsh with a well placed shot.
The teams meet again at the Newry Showgrounds on Wednesday, kick off 3.00 pm.
Northern Ireland
David Walsh
Carl Johnson
Michael Glynn
Dylan Boyle (c)
John McGovern
Jack Scott
Ben Wylie
Alberto Balde
Gerald Storey
Aaron Brown
Peter Bell
Jessie Carson (replaced Scott 15 minutes)
Ben Gallagher (replaced Storey 50 minutes)
George Tipton (replaced Brown 57 minutes)
Chris Hutchinson (replaced Wylie 60 minutes)
Peter McKiernan (replaced Tipton 70 minutes)

Victory in Wales earns NI Centenary Shield

The Northern Ireland U18 squad knew that with a win away in Cardiff they would at very least share the trophy this year depending on other results.  Frankie Wilsons men duly delivered with a comprehensive 3-0 win to end a fantastic season for the team. Northern Ireland must now wait for the result of tonight’s game between England and the Republic of Ireland to see if they share the trophy or win it outright with everyone hoping for a draw.

The match in Cardiff came to life in the second half when a stubborn Welsh defence was unlocked by a delightful 20 yard free kick by Ryan Strain.  It was two to the away side shortly after when a through ball send Daniel Reynolds in on goal who made no mistake striking the ball into the corner.  The final goal came late on when Niall Owens was upended in the penalty area, Eamon Scannell stepped up and made no mistake with the spot kick. 

Frankie Wilson was understandable delighted with the squad “It's not often as a manager you have a feeling of contentment. Last nights win in Wales was extra special. Despite being in total control we couldn't get the goal. We missed a conservative 10 guilt edged chances. But as Niall Owens said ' this team would always find a way.'

Readers will not realise that this process started last year scouting at the Milk Cup. It progressed to trial of over 120 boys throughout NI. We travelled to Derry, south Armagh, Magherafelt and Belfast to get a squad.  Each Sunday since November we have been in working with the squad.  Coach Brian Donaghy sessions were both innovative and challenging with possession and retention being important elements. Eamon Curry and Newry high schools Simon Nicks assisted as goalkeeping coach and defence coach. Kit man Adam Steed was as ever brilliantly organised. Our Physio Linda was most professional and secretary Bob Ramsey was forever the wise old head. 

After the game I said to the boys that these wins will be forever remembered. To beat England 4-1 away from home and score 2 in last 5 mins against Scotland will live long in the memory. One sad part was that my old teacher and NISFA secretary Martin Donaghy passed away before Christmas and didn't see us do so well in centenary shield. The win was also dedicated to my friend and co manager last year Conor Marlin who had to leave our shores to find work in football. We had a little luck this year a commodity we didn't have in last 3 years. I told the boys that they should bask in the glory as it's not often a team from NI outplay and dominate and a win tournaments.”

Northern Ireland u18's ease to victory in Torquay

England v Northern Ireland
inspiresport Centenary Shield Under 18 International
24 March 2017

England 1 v 4 Northern Ireland

Kingsford Adjei 45 mins

Caolin Coyle 5 mins
Eamon Scannell (p) 31 mins
Daniel Reynolds 41 mins
Ryan Strain 55 mins

Friday 24 March 2017
Kick Off 7.00 pm

The Northern Ireland Schools Under 18 team recorded their biggest ever win on English soil defeating England 4-1 at the Plainmoor Stadium Torquay in the inspiresport Centenary Shield.

The hosts had defeated Scotland 5-1 in their opening game in the Centenary Shield campaign but were rocked after 5 minutes as Caolin Coyle collected a short free kick from Niall Owens and drilled a low shot into the corner of the net.

On 31 minutes Owens was upended inside the box and Eamon Scannell confidently despatched the spot kick to double the lead.

Ten minutes later the visitors went further ahead. Aaron Donnelly sent a long pass to Ryan Strain and when the striker's shot came off the upright Daniel Reynolds quickly netted the rebound.

On the stroke of half time England reduced the leeway as Kingsford Adjei shot home from 10 yards following a period of intense pressure.

On the restart England pushed forward but within ten minutes Strain restored the three goal lead. A neat movement down the left involving Scannell and Owens created space for Strain who found the corner of the net with a shot from the edge of the box.

In the closing stages England pressed strongly but could make no impression on a solid Northern Ireland defence in which centre back Eoin Toal was outstanding.

The team's next match is against Scotland at Solitude on Friday 31 March, kick off 3.00 pm. The Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association is offering free entrance to any school or youth group wishing to attend the game. Any group wishing to gain free entrance should send their details by email to Edwin Ferris, NISFA Treasurer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to obtain a group permit.

Conor Larkin
Caolin Coyle
Eamon Scannell
Aaron Donnelly
Eoin Toal
Bobby Burns (c)
Ryan Strain
Niall Owens
Christopher Crane
Daniel Reynolds
Lorcan Forde

Fra Nolan replaced Reynolds 45 minutes
Andrew Scott replaced Strain 64 minutes
Jack O'Mahony replaced Forde 71 minutes
Thomas Roscoe replaced Owens 90+1 minutes

Centenary Shield kicks off for Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Under-18 Schoolboys’ team will play their first game in this year’s Centenary Shield next week. 

Providing the opposition at the Bangor Fuels Arena on Thursday (2March) will be the Republic of Ireland, with a 3pm start.

Team manager Frankie Wilson said: “Our preparations have been going very well.  After 12 weeks of an intensive trial process we finally picked our squad for the Shield. “Friendly games at home to Australia and away in Jersey over the past couple of months have been very beneficial as they gave the team much needed time together on and off the pitch.“We currently have 22 members of the squad training which we have brought down to 18 for the Republic game. We have made one change from the squad that went to Jersey with an injured Jack Henderson being replaced by Lorcan Forde.” He added that games against the Republic have always been competitive and he is expecting more of the same this year.

Organised by SAFIB (Schools Association Football International Board), the Centenary Shield is contested for by the U18 boys selects representing the schoolboy football associations of the UK plus the Republic. The Republic are already top of the group after winning their first game against Wales last week thanks to a last minute goal. The game in Dublin ended 2-1  Northern Ireland’s second game in the competition will see them take on England in Torquay on 24 March, followed by a home game against Scotland on 31 March. Their final game in this year’s Shield will see them come up against Wales away on 12 April.

The Northern Ireland U18 Schoolboys squad features:

Conor Larkin Drumcree College (Club: Portadown)

Eamon Scannell Corpus Christi College (Linfield)

Christopher Crane Corpus Christi College (Cliftonville)

Eoin Toal St Patrick’s Armagh (Armagh City)

Aaron Donnelly Belfast Met (Cliftonville)

Bobby Burns St Malachy’s College (Glenavon)

Andy Scott Drumragh Integrated College (Maiden City)

Lorcan Forde Abbey Grammar Newry (Warrenpoint Town)

Fra Nolan Belfast Met (Ballymena)

Daniel Reynolds Belfast Met (Cliftonville)

Niall Owens St Michael’s College (Ballinamallard United)

Caolin Coyle Northern Regional College (Dungannon Swifts)

Deccy Dunne Mercy College (Cliftonville)

Thomas Roscoe Wallace High School (Dungannon Swifts)

Conall Young Belfast Met (Glenavon)

Matthew Kirk St Columb’s College (Newbuildings)

Jack O’Mahony Slemish College (Glenavon)

Ryan Strain Northern Regional College (Linfield) 

U18's draw home international

Northern Ireland 1 – 1 Australia


Monday 23rd January

Seaview 3pm Ko 

The Northern Ireland under 18 schoolboys began the year with a draw and a strong performance against Australia schools.  The NI squad have only been assembled in the last few months however looked confident and assured in a positive performance against high calibre opposition.  Northern Ireland controlled the early possession and were the first to threaten when Jack O’Mahoney found space on the right only to put his shot wide of the goal. The next chance for NI came shortly after when a well worked free kick found man of the match Niall Owens whose goal bound effort was blocked by a defender.

Northern Ireland continued to control the possession in the first half and were nearly gifted the lead when the Australian keepers poor clearance found Bobby Burns who with no hesitation struck a first time effort from 30 yards just wide of the goal.  The first goal of the game came against the run of play when Australia gained good position working their way into the Northern Ireland half and smashing a low shot into the corner of the Northern Ireland goal giving goalkeeper Declan Dunne no chance. The Northern Ireland team regrouped well after the set back and continued to be the stronger into half time with Eamon Scannell and Caolin Coyle both having efforts saved by the Australian keeper.

Half time Northern Ireland 0-1 Australia

The second half of the game started as bright as the first with Northern Ireland controlling possession.  Niall Owens had an early chance when he cut in from the right only to see his effort saved by the keeper.  The NI equaliser came shortly after the break with a harsh penalty decision for handball as Australia tried to clear the ball from their area.  Eamonn Scannell stepped up and made no mistake sending the keeper the wrong way and placing the ball into the bottom left corner.  Scannell was involved again shortly after progressing well down the left wing and driving a ball across the face of goal however Bobby Burns couldn’t convert. 

As the game went on both teams had chances to win it firstly Declan Dunne made a good save at the near post while substitute Andrew Scott caused the Australian defence trouble driving to the by line but couldn’t find a team mate in the box.  Both teams substitutes made a difference to the game and it was Northern Irelands Daniel Reynolds who had the two best chances at the end of the game firstly having a shot at the near post saved and then driving an effort over the bar after good work from Owens. Australia had the final chance of the game with an effort saved and gathered at the second attempt by substitute goalkeeper Conor Larkin.

Northern Ireland 1-1 Australia

Northern Ireland Team : Declan Dunne, Eamon Scannell, Caolan Coyle, Eoin Toal, Aaron Donnelly, Niall Owens, Thomas Roscoe, Matthew Kirk, Bobby Burns, Ryan Strain, Jack O’Mahoney


Subs : Conor Larkin, Christopher Crane, Andrew Scott, Jack Henderson, Fra Nolan, Daniel Reynolds, Conall Young, 

Northern Ireland U18 start season with home test

The Northern Ireland under 18 team preparation for the centenary shield will start with a home game against Australia at Seaview on Monday 23rd January 3pm ko.  Manager Frankie Wilson has selected an 18 man squad for the game however puts an emphasis on the strength in depth needed to be successful for the year “it was a hard decision to select the 18 man squad as we have had 22 training every Sunday for the last few weeks with all players pushing to represent their country. 

As the campaign will last into April we know that we will need all players challenging for positions if we are going to lift the centenary shield this year.  I feel that Australia will be a tough test for the team, we have prepared differently this year by scheduling more matches in preparation and putting the players up against more physical teams as we feel that this will be key especially in away games to England and Wales.”

The squad will travel to Jersey a week after to play two more games and then will be home to the Republic of Ireland on 2nd March. The U18 international squad for the Australia game:



Conor Larkin

SRC Armagh


Eamon Scannell

Corpus Christi College


Christopher Crane

Corpus Christi College


Eoin Toal

St Patricks Armagh

Armagh City

Aaron Donnelly

Belfast Met


Bobby Burns

St Malachys College


Andy Scott

Drumragh Integrated College

Maiden City

Jack Henderson

Bangor Academy


Fra Nolan

Belfast Met


Daniel Reynolds

Belfast Met


Niall Owens

St Michael’s College


Caolin Coyle

Northern Regional College

Dungannon Swifts

Decky Dunne

Mercy College


Thomas Roscoe

Wallace High School

Dungannon Swifts

Conall Young

Belfast Met


Matthew Kirk

St Columbs College


Jack O’Mahony

Slemish College


Ryan Strain

Northern Regional College



NI U16's narrowly lose out in Poland

Poland v Northern Ireland – U16 Schoolboys

(Wednesday 23rd November 2016 – JKS Stadium, Jaroslaw, 12.00 pm)

Match Report

Northern Ireland Under 16s lose narrowly in Poland

The Northern Ireland U16 team narrowly lost 1-0 in their second international challenge match against Poland at a packed stadium in Jaroslaw in front of a crowd of 5,000.

The visitors opened brightly with Jack Scott and Andrew Whiteside showing up well in midfield.  However, it was the home team which came closest to scoring after 15 minutes when Kevin Rubaszewski hit the bar from 10 yards.  Ten minutes later Rubaszewski made amends for this miss by outpacing two defenders down the left before squaring the ball to Blazej Czuban, who netted from close range.

Northern Ireland responded well to this reverse and Polish goalkeeper Marcel Lotka was called into action to deal with a series of dangerous crosses from Callum Ferris and Ethan Warnock

Five minutes after the restart Alberto Almanzar was unfortunate to see his header clip the bar and go over with Lotka well beaten.

With ten minutes remaining Almanzar turned provider as his pass split the home defence but Lotka was quickly off his line to save at the feet of Connor Farrelly.

In the closing stages Northern Ireland piled on the pressure, forcing a series of corners and free kicks, but the Polish defence held on for a narrow win.

This game and the previous one on Monday were the first internationals to be staged in the region for 16 years.

FULL-TIME: Poland 1-0 Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Team

Scott Pengelly, Jake Corbett, Ethan Warnock, Barney McKeown, Jack Conlon, Jack Scott, Connor Farrelly (c), Callum Ferris, Alberto Almanzar, Lee Upton, Andrew Whiteside


Ben Wylie replaced Upton 40 minutes

Lee O'Brien replaced Ferris 53 minutes

George Curran replaced Whiteside 69 minutes

Dean Corrigan replaced Corbett 72 minutes

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