Northern Ireland youth set for ‘exciting and challenging’ Victory Shield week

Northern Ireland’s next generation of internationals will tackle rivals representing Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales on home soil in Belfast over the next week.

By Patrick Van Dort
Sunday, 17th October 2021, 6:00 am

Play from tomorrow to Friday will run across Crusaders’ Seaview and Harland and Wolff Welders’ Tillysburn for the latest installation of the Victory Shield tournament that dates back to 1947.

Held under the umbrella of the Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association, Sean Paul Murray’s under 16s kick off against Wales.

“The players and staff have worked incredibly hard over the past few months to prepare as best as we can for the Victory Shield,” said Murray on the official Irish FA website. “Hosting this flagship competition here in Northern Ireland will give the players extra motivation to achieve success.

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Northern Ireland players all set for the Victory Shield in Belfast. Pic courtesy of Irish FA.

“We have a hard-working, talented and brave group of players that are determined to showcase their hard work and talent in front of a home crowd.

“The players have been through a difficult 18 months of lockdowns and restrictions which has reduced their opportunities to play, however, they are in a good place now both physically and mentally which is a huge credit to their levels of resilience and something they and their families should take a great deal of pride and satisfaction in.

“It will be an exciting and challenging week for all involved and it’s something that we are looking forward to immensely.”

Northern Ireland’s games will be streamed live by the Irish FA via the Northern Ireland National Team sections on YouTube and Facebook.

“It is great news to have these games streamed live by the Irish FA,” said Murray. “It will give greater exposure of the talent we have on display in Northern Ireland to the football family both here, and across the water and beyond.

“We’re proud of the team we have assembled and its time now to put all the hard work of recent months into action.

“The fact we have this added audience will spur the lads on I have no doubt whatsoever.”

NORTHERN IRELAND: Mason Munn (Glentoran/Glastry College, Ballyhalbert), Jack Wilkins (Linfield/Bangor Academy), Callum Cowan (Linfield/Ballyclare High School), Theo McToal (Glentoran/Belfast High School, Newtownabbey), Bobby Harvey (Linfield/Belfast High School, Newtownabbey), Adhamh Patton (Derry City/Holy Cross College, Strabane), Kyle McCloskey (Derry City/Limavady Grammar School), Ollie Crowe (Dungannon Swifts/Portadown College), Brendy Hamilton (Glentoran/St Malachy’s College, Belfast), Josh Briggs (Linfield/Blessed Trinity College, Belfast), Blaine McClure (Linfield/Belfast Boys’ Model School), Rhys Walsh (Glentoran/De La Salle College, Belfast), Callum Burnside (Linfield/De La Salle College, Belfast), Cole Brannigan (Linfield/Edmund Rice College, Glengormley), Ryan Donnelly (Dungannon Swifts/Hazelwood College, Belfast), Ben McGonigle (Derry City/Limavady Grammar School), Fra Turley (Glentoran/St Malachy’s College, Belfast), Cormac Austin (Linfield/St Mary’s CBS, Belfast), Ciaran O’Hara (Derry City/St Mary’s Limavady), Kieran Morrison (Liverpool/Abraham Moss Community School, Manchester), Jay Dalzell (Ards/Bangor Academy), Jay McDowell (Linfield/St Mary’s CBS, Belfast).

FIXTURES: Northern v Wales (Oct 17, Seaview, 3pm), Scotland v Republic of Ireland (Oct 17, Tillysburn, 3pm), Northern Ireland v Scotland (Oct 19, Tillysburn, 3pm), Wales v Republic of Ireland (Oct 19, Seaview, 3pm), Wales v Scotland (Oct 22, Tillysburn, 11am) Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland (Oct 22, Tillysburn, 1pm).


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