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12 Nov 2019
© Jonathan Porter/ Jake Corbett in action with Norway's Edvard Tagseth

Some of the Northern Ireland Football League's brightest young stars have been rewarded for their performances this season with a place in the Northern Ireland U19 squad for the quadrangular preparation tournament currently being staged locally ahead of the forthcoming European Championships next summer.

Stephen Frail named six players from the Danske Bank Premiership and Bluefin Sport Championship amongst his 22-strong panel for the games against Norway, Portugal and Germany.

Linfield had three players called up, namely keeper David Walsh, defender Jake Corbett and Trai Hume in midfield. Glenavon's Patrick Burns was also named in defence, while Callum Ferris (Portadown) and Newry City's John McGovern were included as forward options. In addition, Portadown's Ryan Carmichael was initially included but he had to withdraw through injury.

The first game, on Tuesday evening, against Norway unfortunately ended in a 3-0 defeat for Northern Ireland, although all three goals came in the final quarter of the game.

Four of the six started with Burns and Hume playing the full 90 minutes while Corbett was replaced by Barry Baggley (Fleetwood Town) after 83 minutes and Ferris came on for McGovern four minutes earlier. Walsh was an unused substitute.

McGovern, still only 17, drew praise for his performance and, indeed, played his part in one of Northern Ireland's key openings when his cross from left led to a rasping shot from Dunfermline Athletic’s Lewis McCann but, unfortunately, this was parried to safety by keeper Rasmus Sandberg.

Corbett also had an opportunity just after the hour to break the deadlock when McCann turned provider but the Linfield man was also denied by Sandberg.

The series continues with Northern Ireland next in action on Friday against Portugal (7:30pm) before concluding next Monday when they go head-to-head with Germany (7:30pm), both games are also at Mourneview Park.