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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

U16 quest for victory shield success

Northern Ireland will be aiming to collect the trophy for only the second time in the competition’s history when they take part in this year’s Victory Shield.

The Under-16 Schoolboys international competition, which is organised by the Schools’ Association Football International Board, gets under way on Sunday at the Oriam sports complex in Edinburgh, which is part of Heriot-Watt University.

Northern Ireland have only won the shield once – in 2000-01 – since the current version was set up in 1947.

England have not entered for the past couple of years, so the U16s will be facing current holders Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland in Edinburgh. The team is being managed by Irish FA elite performance coach Darren Murphy.

Northern Ireland will begin their quest for Victory Shield glory against hosts Scotland on Sunday followed by a tie against the Republic on Tuesday and a game against Wales next Friday.

The schedule for this year’s Victory Shield is:

Sunday 30 October

2pm - Scotland v Northern Ireland

5pm - Wales v Republic of Ireland

Tuesday 1 November

1pm - Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland

4pm - Scotland v Wales

Friday 4 November

12.30pm - Northern Ireland v Wales

3.30pm - Scotland v Republic of Ireland

The Northern Ireland Victory Shield squad for 2016 is:

Goalkeepers – Tiernan Parker (School: Onslow St Audrey’s Hatfield/Club: Luton Town), Paul McLaughlin (CBS Secondary Belfast/Glentoran);

Defenders – Jake Corbett (Dromore High School/Linfield), Ethan Warnock (Ashfield Boys’ School Belfast/Glentoran), Sam McClelland (Limavady Grammar/Coleraine), Dean Corrigan (Enniskillen Royal Grammar/Ballinamallard United), Barney McKeown (St Colman’s College Newry/Portadown), Jack Conlon (St Ronan’s College Lurgan/Portadown), Jack Scott (Tandragee Junior High/Linfield);

Midfielders – Ethan Galbraith (Glengormley High/Linfield), Lee O’Brien (Dunclug College Ballymena/Cliftonville), Jordon McEneff (St Columb’s College Derry-Londonderry/Coleraine), Andrew Whiteside (Coleraine Grammar/Coleraine), George Curran (Royal School Dungannon/Linfield), Paul McAdorey (St Patrick’s College Belfast/Cliftonville);

Forwards – Ben Wilson (St Columb’s College Derry-Londonderry/Coleraine), Christopher Conn (St Mary’s Grammar Belfast/Glentoran), Connor Farrelly (Corpus Christi Belfast/Cliftonville), Callum Ferris (Craigavon Senior High Lurgan/Portadown), Caolan McLaughlin (St Joseph’s Secondary Derry-Londonderry/Foyle Harps).

Northern Ireland U18 Schoolboy trials

The Northern Ireland U18 Schoolboys begin their preparation for their 2017 Centenary shield season with trial games across the country.  Northern Ireland under 18 international team manager Frankie Wilson “the trial process is key to the selection of the team, we would like to give as many young players as possible the chance to showcase their talent for a chance to play for their country”. The under 18 management team are now looking for recommendations from clubs and schools to send through their best 5/6 players to take part in the trial process. It is important to state that there is an extremely high level deemed international standard should to considered to attend trials.

 The trials will be as follows:

North West Trial – Vale Centre - Sunday 16th October at 10.15am.

South Down and Armagh Trial – Camlough FC – Sunday 23rd October at 10.15am

Tyrone and Fermanagh Trial – Institute FC – Tuesday 8th November at 7.30pm

Antrim and North Down – Queens DUB – Sunday 13th November at 10.15am

Players must be at the 1999 and 2000 age groups (players must be born ON OR AFTER 1 JANUARY 1999).

Please send the following information to Bob Ramsey, NISFA under 18 International Team Secretary, ASAP.

Email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  1. Name
  2. Date of Birth
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  4. School
  5. Club

16's draw second game in Slovakia

Slovakia v Northern Ireland – U16 Schoolboys

Thursday 8th September 2016 – TNC Stadium Senec, 11.00 am

Match Report

Northern Ireland Under 16s draw second game in Slovakia

The Northern Ireland U16 team maintained its unbeaten record for the season with another creditable 1-1 draw in their international challenge match against Slovakia in Senec.  The opening period was evenly contested and the first chance fell to Callum Ferris after 17 minutes but the striker failed to connect with a great pass from Dean Corrigan and the Slovak keeper was quickly off his line to avert the danger.

Shortly afterwards Ferris did test the keeper with a shot into the top corner which was well held.  Slovakia then missed a great chance to break the deadlock but Michal Dopater shot straight at Scott Pengelly with only the keeper to beat.

Two minutes after the restart Dominik Bindics opened the scoring, running onto a pass from Patrik Myslovic to beat Pengelly with a low drive into the corner of the net.

The lead proved to be short lived as Jordan McEneff equalised with a brilliant goal 5 minutes later.  The Northern Ireland captain won the ball in midfield and advanced 10 yards before planting a left foot strike into the roof of the net.

Northern Ireland went close to gaining a victory in the closing stages but Barney McKeown headed against a defender when well placed and Lee O'Brien saw his 25 yard piledriver deflected past the post.

The Under 16 team will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten run when they face Finland at Comber on Monday 12 September, kick off 6.00 pm, and again at Knockbreda on Wednesday, kick off 11.00 am.


FULL-TIME: Slovakia 1-1 Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Team

Scott Pengelly, Jake Corbett, Barney McKeown, Jack Conlon, Jordan McEneff (c), Callum Ferris, Lee O'Brien, Paul McAdorey, Sean og Gallagher, Dean Corrigan, Jack Scott


George Curran replaced O'Brien 47 minutes

Lee Upton replaced Gallagher 47 minutes

Christopher Conn replaced Scott 58 minutes

Tyler Marsden replaced McKeown 58 minutes

O'Brien replaced McEneff 76 minutes



Under 16's draw opening game in Slovakia

Slovakia v Northern Ireland – U16 Schoolboys

Tuesday 6th September 2016 – Velky Biel Stadium Senec, 5.00 pm

Match Report

Northern Ireland Under 16s draw opening game in Slovakia

The Northern Ireland U16 team fought back well to earn a creditable 1-1 draw in their international challenge match against Slovakia in Senec.  However, it looked to be a different story at the start as Lukas Letenay put the home team ahead after 1 minute and 40 seconds with a powerful drive from the edge of the box.

Despite this early reverse Northern Ireland responded well with Jordan McEneff and Tyler Marsden showing fine form in midfield.  Lee O'Brien sent a deep cross to McEneff but his volley from 25 yards was tipped over the bar by the home keeper.

On the half hour Ivan Mesik missed a great chance to double the lead but shot straight at Paul McLaughlin from close range

After the interval Slovakia forced the pace and McLaughlin was in constant action, pulling off a series of good saves.  However, Northern Ireland was always very dangerous on the breakaway and drew level after 69 minutes when Jake Corbett made a great run down the right and pulled the ball back to Jack Scott.  The young striker found Callum Ferris who steadied himself before shooting low into the corner of the net.

The duo almost carved out the winner in the final minute as Scott again delivered a great pass to Ferris at the far post but this time his effort went just outside the upright.

The teams will meet again at the same venue on Thursday.


FULL-TIME: Slovakia 1-1 Northern Ireland


Northern Ireland Team

Paul McLaughlin, Jake Corbett, Ethan Warnock, Barney McKeown, Jack Conlon, Tyler Marsden, Caolan McLaughlin, Jordan McEneff (c), Callum Ferris, Christopher Conn, Lee O'Brien


Paul McAdorey replaced Marsden 52 minutes

Dean Corrigan replaced O'Brien 52 minutes

Jack Scott replaced Conn 52 minutes

George Curran replaced Caolan McLaughlin 62 minutes

Sean og Gallagher replaced McEneff 66 minutes


Lee Upton replaced Warnock 76 minutes

Northern Ireland U16’s start season in Estonia

Northern Ireland U16 squad have a busy international calendar in the run up to the Victory Shield at the end of October.  The squad fly out today for two internationals in Tallinn and then two weeks later have two games away to Slovakia.  The final preparation for the home nation’s tournament is home to Finland on the 12th and 14th September. Coach Darren Murphy has praised the Northern Ireland Schools Football Association for the upcoming games. Darren said “the more international experience the boys can the better, it’s fantastic for them to get to go away to big nations the likes of Slovakia before playing in the victory shield.  The Schools football association have done a great job organising the games which will give the players the best opportunity to impress and earn a place in the Victory Shield squad”.  

The Northern Ireland squad for the two international friendlies against Estonia is:

Conor Hitchen

Paul McLaughlin

Kian McGarvey

Jake Corbett

Callum Ferris

Daniel Smith

George Curran

Connor Farrelly

Paul McAdorey

Jordon McEneff

Barny McKeown

Caolan McLaughlin

Ruairi O’Hare

Jack Conlon

Mal Smith

Lee O’Brien

Ben Wilson

Jamie Glover 

Sean Og Gallagher



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