Mark Sykes has been in fine form for Glenavon this season (c) Presseye


Northern Ireland Under-21 manager Ian Barraclough has selected two Danske Bank Premiership stars for the crucial European Under-21 qualifiers next week.

Glentoran defender Nathan Kerr and Glenavon midfielder Mark Sykes have retained their place in the international squad for games against Iceland (Thursday 11 October) and Slovakia (Tuesday 16 October).

There is no place, however, for Coleraine’s Jamie McGonigle who has not been selected in the original squad having been part of last month’s memorable 2-1 win away to Spain in the series.

Northern Ireland Under-21’s currently sit third in Group 2 and will require enough points to finish ahead of second placed Slovakia and to be one of the top four best placed runners-up of the nine groups to stand a chance of earning a spot in the playoffs for the first time.

NI Football League alumni Bobby Burns (on loan at Livington, formerly Glenavon), Liam Donnelly (Motherwell, formerly of Dungannon Swifts) and Paul Smyth (Queens Park Rangers, formerly of Linfield) are all included in the Under-21 squad also.

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Tags:  Glenavon  Glentoran