Northern Ireland squad named for opening Euro qualifiers by manager Michael O'Neill

Michael O'Neill announcing his Northern Ireland squad for the Euros. Pic Pacemaker.
Michael O'Neill named Northern Ireland's opening Euro qualifier squad on Tuesday.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has named his 26-strong squad for the opening Euro qualifiers.

It's the manager's second stint at Northern Ireland, having been reappointed as boss back in December.

Four new faces have been called up for the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers against San Marino (home) and Finland (home) in March.

The newcomers are Isaac Price, Eoin Toal, Sean Goss and Cameron McGeehan.

Everton midfielder Price, 19, steps up to the senior panel after featuring for the Northern Ireland U17, U19 and U21 teams in recent years.

Bolton defender, Toal, 24, previously played for Northern Ireland at U17, U19 and U21s level.

Motherwell midfielder Goss was previously called up to the senior squad in 2018 during Michael O’Neill’s first stint as manager, but his appearance was scuppered due to injury.

The same fate faced Midfielder McGeehan in 2018.

The 27-year-old, who plays for Belgian First Division A club KV Oostende, is now back on the team sheet.

Elsewhere on the squad are two players who haven't appeared for some time.

Nineteen-year-old striker Dale Taylor has received a fresh call-up. He was last in the senior squad in November 2021 when he earned his single cap to date in a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.Also making a come back is Aberdeen winger Matthew Kennedy. His last three caps came against Bulgaria in a World Cup qualifier in March 2021.

Midfielders Steven David, Corry Evans, Stuart Dallas and Alistair McCann have been ruled out for the San Marino match on Thursday 23 March due to injury. They'll also be out for the Finland game on 26 March. Blackpool Stricker Shayne Lavery is also out.

Despite injury concerns in recent months, defender Jonny Evans is on the team sheet alongside Craig Cathcart.

Although Conor Washington missed most international matches in 2022, the Rotherham United striker will make a return, along with Sunderland defender Daniel Ballard.

Tom Flanagan, Paddy Lane, Kofi Balmer and Kyle Lafferty were included in the previous squad but have not been called on this occasion.

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