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International News (72)

U16's travel to Finland for final preparation

The Northern Ireland U16 team will continue their preparations for next month’s Victory Shield tournament with a double header against Finland next week.

The first of the international friendlies takes place on Tuesday (12 September, 6.30pm) in Jyväskylä with the second game being staged next Thursday (1pm) in the city in central Finland.

The Schoolboys side will be hoping to keep their unbeaten run going. In recent months they have won two games at home against Estonia U16s and drawn twice with Austria’s U16s away.

The double header next week will be the team’s final preparation matches ahead of the Victory Shield – the Home International series for U16 teams – at the end of next month.

Northern Ireland U16 manager Darren Murphy says the matches against Finland are vital for the players’ development.

He pointed out: “The matches building up to the Victory Shield have been fantastic for the boys. We have three 2003 players in the squad as seven 2002 players have been selected for the Northern Ireland U17 squad in preparation for their European Championship qualifying campaign.

“This trip gives us a chance to look at these young players on the international stage. I am expecting two very tough games with Finland but also really looking forward to the challenge.”

The Northern Ireland squad for the games against Finland: David Walsh (Linfield), Conner Byrne (Glenavon), Trai Hume (Linfield), Dylan Boyle (Ridgeway Rovers), John McGivern (Ridgeway Rovers), Vicky Saldanha De Rosa (Dungannon Swifts), Chris Hutchinson (Portadown), Carl Johnston (Linfield), Jesse Carson (Linfield), Gerard Storey (Ridgeway Rovers), Barry Baggley (Glentoran), Euan Devreney (Rangers), George Tipton (Ridgeway Rovers), Peter McKiernan (Cliftonville), Aaron Brown (Linfield), Alberto Balde (Portadown), Eoin Teggert (Cliftonville) and Lewis Mackinnon (Linfield).

U16's complete double over Estonia

The Northern Ireland Under 16 team completed the double over Estonia and maintained their unbeaten record for the season with a comprehensive 4-1 victory at Seaview.

There was little between the teams in the early stages but after 27 minutes Alberto Balde caused panic in the visitors defence and Kristjan Stuff handled the ball.  George Tipton, son of Warrenpoint Town Manager Matthew Tipton, stepped up to blast the spot kick into the roof of the net.

After the break Estonia came more into the game and Rudhan Hughes did well to keep out a fierce free kick by Patrick Veelma while Aleksandr Sapovalov was narrowly off target with a long range effort.  Soon afterwards Estonia deservedly drew level when Sapovalov, who had scored for the visitors in their 3-1 defeat at Comber on Monday, netted with a close range header.

At this stage it looked as if Estonia would go on to record their first success at Under 16 level against Northern Ireland but gradually the home team regained control and after 78 minutes Chris McKee found the net when put through by Jack Scott.

Two minutes later Peter McKiernan doubled the lead with a spectacular effort as the lively striker twisted and turned his way past two defenders before unleashing an unstoppable drive into the top corner.

In stoppage time Scott completed the scoring with a 25 yard effort which gave the Estonian keeper no chance.

The Under 16 team can expect a sterner test when they travel to Finland next month for two games in Jyvaskyla.

Northern Ireland

Rudhan Hughes, Jack Scott, Peter Bell, Dylan Boyle (c), Aaron Brown, Alberto Balde, George Tipton, Trai Hume, Barry Baggley, Eoin Teggert, Aidan Steele


Michael Glynn (replaced Brown 51 minutes), Peter McKiernan (Tipton 51'), Chris McKee (Balde 51'), Naseem Ouldhamlat (Teggert 51'), Jesse Carson (Bell 65'), Ben Wylie (Hume 65'), Chris Hutchinson (Baggley 65'), Carl Johnston (Steele 65')

U16's to face Estonia in double header

Under 16s face Estonia

Northern Ireland Under 16 Manager Darren Murphy is hoping that his young charges can maintain their unbeaten record when they play two games against Estonia next week.  In May his team recorded two victories 2-1 at home to Slovakia and the following month the squad travelled to Austria and came home with a scoreless draw and a 1-1 draw against an unbeaten Austrian team.

Now Estonia provide the opposition at Comber on Monday 14 August, kick off 6.30 pm, and two days later Knockbreda FC is the venue, kick off 3.00 pm.

Murphy is looking forward to his young side taking on the visitors.  “The team was outstanding in the matches against Slovakia and Austria and now I am hoping that they can advance to an even higher level.  We have an excellent record against Estonia, winning four and drawing two of the last six games.  Those matches were all very close and the boys will have to pull out all the stops to maintain our record against Estonia.  This is just the start of an extensive programme of international matches for the boys.  In September the team travels to Finland for two games.  It will be a good experience for our boys to pit their skills against the best Continental teams.  This is just the sort of test that we need before embarking on the Victory Shield campaign against Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland in October.  The games against Estonia and Finland will give everyone a chance to stake a claim for their place in the squad for the Victory Shield”.

The Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association is offering free entrance to any school or youth group wishing to attend the games against Estonia.

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.

Edwin Ferris

(NISFA Press Officer)

U15's secure second away draw

Northern Ireland’s Under-15 Schoolboys side drew their second and final tour game against Austria’s U15s.

After registering a scoreless draw in the first of their two international friendlies in Austria, the U15s drew 1-1 with their hosts in game two. 

The second game of their short tour to eastern Austria saw Northern Ireland play in temperatures reaching 35 degrees.

Austria started strongly in the match at the Lindabrunn Stadium at Enzesfeld-Lindabrunn. Denizcan Cosgun and Matthias Brunnoder combined well to carve open the Northern Ireland defence but Brunnoder's shot drifted past the post.

However, on 11 minutes the visitors missed a great chance to open the scoring. Barry Baggley found Alberto Almanzar with a pinpoint cross but the unmarked striker headed straight at the Austrian keeper from six yards out. Soon afterwards Almanzar outpaced the home defence but dragged his shot wide of the upright.

The Austrians were quickly back on the front foot and Ruadhan McKenna produced a great save to keep out a 25-yard piledriver from Dino Rusovic.  

But the Northern Ireland keeper was given no chance on the stroke of half-time when Edin Mujkanovic crossed from the right and Rusovic volleyed the ball into the net from close range.

On the restart Northern Ireland upped the ante and Peter McKiernan thought that he had snatched the equaliser, bundling the ball over the line when Austrian keeper Nikolas Polster dropped a free-kick by Gerard Storey. However, the referee disallowed the goal for a foul on the keeper.

On 67 minutes the visitors deservedly drew level when John McGivern met a cross from Ben Wylie to net with a powerful header. 

In the closing stages Northern Ireland pressed strongly in search of the winner with George Tipton and Aidan Steele both going close.

The U15 Schoolboys will next be in action against Estonia at Comber on 14 August and at Knockbreda two days later.

Northern Ireland line-up: Ruadhan McKenna (Portadown); Peter Bell (Dungannon United Youth); Dylan Boyle (captain, Ridgeway Rovers); Trai Hume (Linfield); Chris Hutchinson (Portadown); Michael Glynn (Ballinamallard United); Carl Johnston (Linfield); Alberto Almanzar (Portadown); Barry Baggley (Glentoran); John McGivern (Ridgeway Rovers); Naseem Ouldhamlat (Glentoran).

Substitutes: Gerard Storey (Ridgeway Rovers, replaced Johnston 20’); Peter McKiernan (Cliftonville, for Ouldhamlat 40’); Jessie Carson (Linfield, for Bell 40’); Ben Wylie (Linfield, for Glynn 40’); George Tipton (Ridgeway Rovers, for Baggley 54’); Aidan Steele (Cliftonville, for Hutchinson 54’).


U15's draw first game in Austria

Northern Ireland’s Under-15 Schoolboys side registered a scoreless draw in the first of their two international friendlies against Austria’s U15s this week.

It was a fairly even first half but Northern Ireland dominated after the break and deserved more out of yesterday’s game. 

The match at Eggendorf in eastern Austria was played in blazing sunshine – in temperatures reaching 35 degrees – so it was no real surprise that the pace was slow at the start.

After 17 minutes Alberto Almanzar carved open the home defence to send George Tipton through but with only the keeper to beat the Northern Ireland striker could only find the side netting.

Ten minutes later Michael Glynn missed another opportunity as he collected a long ball from Jessie Carson and rounded the full-back but as he closed in on goal he lost control and the danger was cleared.

Austria's best chance came just before the break when Denizcan Cosgun drifted past two defenders and unleashed a powerful right foot drive which crashed against the upright.

After the interval, as the temperature cooled, Northern Ireland took control with Ben Wylie and Carl Johnston dominating in midfield.

On 53 minutes Almanzar thought that he had broken the deadlock when he shot home from close range but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Almanzar was a constant threat to the Austrian defence with his surging runs down the left. The powerful striker seemed certain to score as he broke through once again but Austrian keeper Nikolas Polster was quickly off his line to block his shot.

The introduction of Naseem Ouldhamlat increased the threat as he combined well with Almanzar to terrorise the home defence. In the final minute a neat pass from Almanzar sent Ouldhamlat through but he shot tamely at the keeper.

The teams meet again at Enzesfeld-Lindabrunn tomorrow (Thursday 22 June) in the second and final game of the short tour - and U15 manager Darren Murphy will be hoping that his side not only maintain their unbeaten record but with better finishing add to it with a victory. 

Northern Ireland line-up: David Walsh (Linfield); Peter Bell (Dungannon United Youth); Dylan Boyle (captain, Ridgeway Rovers); Michael Glynn (Ballinamallard United); Ben Wylie and Carl Johnston (both Linfield); Gerard Storey (Ridgeway Rovers); Alberto Almanzar (Portadown); John McGivern (Ridgeway Rovers); Jessie Carson (Linfield) and George Tipton (Ridgeway Rovers). Substitutes: Aidan Steele (Cliftonville, replaced Tipton 48’); Naseem Ouldhamlat (Glentoran, for Storey 60’); Trai Hume (Linfield, for Bell 60’); Chris Hutchinson (Portadown, for Wylie 76’).

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

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