Northern Eire: Sam McClelland and Conor Bradley handed first call-ups


Conor Bradley played for Liverpool under-18s in his FA Youth Cup loss to Aston Villa on Monday

Chelsea’s Sam McClelland and Liverpool’s Conor Bradley were called up for the first time in Northern Ireland for the friendlies against Malta and Ukraine.

Center-back McClelland, 19, has played for the U17 and U19 in Northern Ireland.

Bradley, 17, also played for the Under-17s, playing in the loss to Aston Villa in the FA Youth Cup final in Liverpool earlier this week.

Steven Davis and Jonny Evans are among the seasoned players who are well rested.

Corry Evans, Conor McLaughlin, Jamal Lewis, Michael Smith, Michael McGovern and Trevor Carson will also not be involved in the Monday to Sunday early game against Malta in Austria and next Thursday’s game in Ukraine.

The Irish federation said that Fifa regulations mean that the game in Malta will start at 5:00 p.m. CET at the Worthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt with the Ukraine game in Kiev, also on June 3 at 7:00 p.m. behind locked doors will take place.

Northern Ireland’s roster includes Stuart Dallas, Paddy McNair, Kyle Lafferty, Josh Magennis, Craig Cathcart and Niall McGinn.

Sam McClelland is a regular in Chelsea’s U23 squad

Baraclough’s “Fast-Tracking” plans

Manager Ian Baraclough said McClelland and Bradley’s inclusions were part of his “fast-tracking” plans.

“Conor had a really good season with Liverpool – his first year there – he played regularly in the U23s and was in the FA Youth Cup final recently,” added the Northern Irish boss.

“We just feel his development has been very, very good this season. And to give him the knowledge of how it is with this group, we thought it was the right time.

“With Jonny [Evans] Not here and Dan Ballard was involved in the play-off final with Blackpool as the center-back. We felt the time was right to get Sam through. And again, let’s see what he’s all about as an individual. “

Rangers wingers Jordan Jones and Paul Smyth, whose contracts with QPR are about to expire, both return with Shayne Lavery from Linfield, striker Dion Charles from Accrington Stanley making his debut against the US, Ethan Galbraith from Manchester United and Alfie McCalmont from Leeds United gave back to the roster among those who will be taking the tour.

Conor Bradley’s Liverpool club-mate Liam Hughes remains on Ian Barcalough’s squad.

Goalkeeper Hughes was called up for the first time in March for the matches against Italy, the USA and Bulgaria.

Northern Ireland squad

Goalkeeper: Peacock-Farrell (Burnley), Hazard (Celtic), Hughes (Liverpool).

Defender: Cathcart (Watford), Dallas (Leeds United), Ferguson (Millwall), McNair (Middlesbrough), Ballard (Arsenal – on loan in Blackpool), Brown (Cardiff City), McClelland (Chelsea), Bradley (Liverpool)

Midfield player: McGinn (Aberdeen), Saville (Middlesbrough), Thompson (Stoke City), McCann (St. Johnstone), McCalmont (Leeds United), Jones (Rangers), Whyte (Cardiff City), Galbraith (Manchester United)

Forward: Lafferty (Kilmarnock), Magennis (Hull City), Boyce (Heart of Midlothian), Lavery (Linfield), Charles (Accrington Stanley), Smyth (Queens Park Rangers).

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