02 November 2009
Gareth Harkin (Letterkenny IT), James Costello and Alan Teggart (both UU Jordanstown) were last week named in Ronnie McFall's U23 International Challenge Trophy squad.
A panel of 23 players have been selected for the squad ahead of the first home match in the competition against Wales on Tuesday 24 November, which will be played at Shamrock Park, Portadown with kick-off at 7.45pm.
Team manager Ronnie McFall is looking forward to the matches and is hoping it will raise the profile of the Premiership players and clubs, "This tournament is a fantastic opportunity for the young players in the IFA Premiership to perform on a bigger stage. Several of the players have represented Northern Ireland at various youth levels, and that experience will help them throughout the competition and in particular when we travel to Poland and Portugal later in the group."
Ronnie added, "It is important to get off to a winning start in the group, but we know that Wales will provide stiff opposition for us. From experience of playing pre-season friendly matches against Welsh opposition, I know that both leagues are of a similar standard so the game itself should be a close encounter."
Glenavon's Ryan Harpur is delighted and honoured to be part of the squad, "I'm very proud to be called up to represent the IFA Premiership. It is a great opportunity for us to challenge ourselves against other leagues across Europe, and from playing against Llanelli previously I know that the standard of our opposition is high."
Portadown's Ross Redman is looking forward to the matches and playing against other leagues, "To represent your country at any level is very exciting. We are all looking forward to this tournament as it allows more people to see what the IFA Premiership has to offer. To play against players from other countries, such as those in the Portuguese League, will be a tough test but it is one that we are really looking forward to."
The full fixtures have been confirmed as follows:-
24.11.09 - Northern Ireland v. Wales (Shamrock Park, Portadown)
18.05.10 - Northern Ireland v. Poland (venue TBC)
13.10.10 - Portugal v. Northern Ireland (venue TBC)
Admission for the forthcoming U23 Northern Ireland v Wales match will be £5.00 (adults) and £3.00 (U16s and senior citizens)
The full squad reads:-
- Sean O'Neill (Ballymena United) 11.04.88
- Christopher Keenan (Crusaders) 27.01.87
- Ryan Mullan (Dungannon Swifts) 11.11.88
- Michael Smith (Ballymena United) 04.09.88
- Aaron Stewart (Ballymena United) 03.12.89
- Kyle McVey (Coleraine) 07.07.86
- Robert Jay Magee (Glenavon) 04.05.88
- Johnny Taylor (Glentoran) 30.06.88
- Ross Redman (Portadown) 23.11.89
- Gareth Harkin (Coleraine) 19.12.87
- Michael Carvill (Linfield) 03.04.88
- Robert Garrett (Linfield) 05.05.88
- James Mulgrew (Linfield) 05.06.86
- Alan Teggart (Portadown) 24.11.86
- Daryl Fordyce (Glentoran) 02.01.87
- Niall Henderson (Newry City) 07.02.88
- Ryan Catney (Cliftonville) 17.02.87
- Ryan Harpur (Glenavon) 01.12.88
- Darren Boyce (Coleraine) 25.01.86
- Curtis Allen (Linfield) 22.02.88
- Liam Boyce (Cliftonville) 08.04.91
- James Costello (Glenavon) 09.06.86
- Jordan Owens (Crusaders) 09.07.89