Whyte and Smyth Made to Wait, as Peacock-Farrell and Lewis Gets Another Bite!!!
It was certainly a case for stick-to-what-you-know for Michael O’Neill today, as he named his squad for the upcoming Uefa Nations League match with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the home friendly with Israel.
The Northern Ireland manager has voted for experience, with a total just shy of 900 caps between the 25-man squad.
After a pleasing start to his career in England with Oxford United, former Crusaders hotshot Gavin Whyte could count himself unlucky to only make the U-21’s. He will be joined there by fellow striker Paul Smyth, who may be paying for QPR’s terrible start to the Championship season.
Youngsters who will be in the reckoning in next month’s ties are Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Jamal Lewis.
Peacock-Farrell has retained his place as Leeds United #1 this campaign, and couldn’t be much happier, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side at the sumit of the Championship table after 4 games.
Lewis, another youngster hoping to win his second cap, was involved in the 2-1 win over South Korea in March.
Kyle Lafferty will be looking to add to his international scoring record, having made his dream return to Rangers this week at club level. And a place in the squad for 38 year-old Gareth McAuley. The veteran defender may well end up joining Lafferty at The Gers, with Steven Gerrard remaining interested in the currently unattached centre-half.
Northern Irish Squad: (to play Bosnia and Herzegovina Sep. 8th, Israel Sep. 11th)
Goalkeepers: McGovern (Norwich City), Carson (Motherwell), Peacock-Farrell (Leeds United).
Defenders: Cathcart (Watford), J. Evans (Leicester City), Hughes (Hearts), McAuley (unattached), C. McLaughlin (Millwall), McNair (Middlesbrough), Smith (Hearts), Lewis (Norwich City).
Midfielders: Davis (Southampton), McGinn (Aberdeen), Dallas (Leeds), C. Evans (Blackburn), Ferguson (Millwall), Saville (Millwall), Jones (Kilmarnock), Norwood (Sheffield United).
Forwards: Lafferty (Rangers), Boyce (Burton Albion), Magennis (Bolton Wanderers), Grigg (Wigan Athletic), Washington (Queen’s Park Rangers), Ward (Nottingham Forest).