Tommy Wright calls up seven new players to Northern Ireland U21 squad for European Championship qualifier against England

Northern Ireland U21 manager Tommy Wright. PIC: Presseye/Brian Little
Northern Ireland U21 manager Tommy Wright. PIC: Presseye/Brian Little

From the original panel named by Wright earlier this month, Rangers youngster Ross McCausland, who made his senior debut in defeat to Finland on Friday, and goalkeeper Stephen McMullan have been drafted into Michael O’Neill’s squad.

Everton midfielder Sean McAllister and Linfield striker Chris McKee have also been ruled out for the trip to England due to injury but Terry Devlin and Michael Forbes will return to the U21 fold after travelling to Helsinki with the senior side.

That has meant Wright has had to call upon no fewer than seven new faces with former Glentoran youngster Barry Baggley, Linfield goalkeeper David Walsh, Cameron Stewart (Cove Rangers), Makenzie Kirk (Hearts), Archie Heron (Luton Town), Conor Falls (Huddersfield Town) and Harry Wilson (Fleetwood Town) drafted into a 26-man squad.

It marks a first involvement with Northern Ireland for Luton midfielder Heron, who signed a professional contract with the Premier League newcomers earlier this year, while Wilson had been included in a previous U19 squad but had to withdraw due to injury.

England U21 boss Lee Carsley has named the likes of Newcastle United defender Tino Livramento, Liverpool ace Harvey Elliott and Chelsea’s Noni Madueke in his panel.

The Young Lions sit second in Group F behind Ukraine while Northern Ireland occupy fifth spot after losing three of their opening four matches.

Full U21 squad for clash with England

Goalkeepers – Fraser Barnsley (Everton), David Walsh (Linfield), Josh Clarke (Celtic).

Defenders – Michael Forbes (West Ham United), Carl Johnston (Fleetwood Town), Aaron Donnelly (Dundee, on loan from Nottingham Forest), Tommy Fogarty (Birmingham City), Matthew Carson (Southampton), Cameron Stewart (Cove Rangers, on loan from Ipswich Town), Ruairi McConville (Brighton and Hove Albion), Darren Robinson (Derby County), Ethan McGee (Dungannon Swifts).

Midfielders – Barry Baggley and Harry Wilson (both Fleetwood Town), Terry Devlin (Portsmouth), Justin Devenny (Crystal Palace), Patrick Kelly (West Ham United), Charlie McCann (Forest Green Rovers), Jamie McDonnell (Nottingham Forest), JJ McKiernan (Morecambe), Charlie Allen (Leeds United), Archie Heron (Luton Town).

Forwards – Charlie Lindsay (Derby County), Ciaran McGuckin (Rotherham United), Conor Falls (Huddersfield Town), Makenzie Kirk (Hearts).