Players gain valuable experience at Home Nations Championship

The Northern Ireland U-19 team
The Northern Ireland U-19 team

Northern Ireland played host to the Under-19 Learning Disability Home Nations Championships, with the Billy Neill Centre of Excellence the venue for six highly competitive games featuring Wales, Scotland, Republic of Ireland and the hosts.

Scotland successfully defended their Home Nations Championships Crown and fully deserved the trophy after two big wins against Northern Ireland (5-1) and Republic of Ireland (4–2).

A young Northern Ireland squad played some good football over their three games but were disappointed to only have one point to show for their toils, managing to come from 2-0 down to gain an exciting 2-2 draw against the Republic of Ireland with goals from Wilson and Hayes.

Northern Ireland Team Manager Alan Crooks was pleased with the event despite finishing in third place.

He said: “The lads will gain vital experience from playing three competitive games in three days at this level.

“Thirteen players in our squad are eligible for at least another year so we look forward positively and try and improve. They were great in terms of effort and a real credit to their families and schools.

“May I take this opportunity to congratulate Scotland who thoroughly deserved it this year with dominating performances.”

For more information on this programme please contact Alan Crooks: