O'Neill picks five fresh faces
Published 19/05/2014 | 11:42
Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill has named an experimental squad for the forthcoming friendlies against Uruguay and Chile, with five uncapped players being included.
Goalkeeper Trevor Carson, defensive trio Ryan McLaughlin, Luke McCullough and Liam Donnelly and midfielder Paul Paton are those yet to make a senior international appearance featuring in a 22-man party for the trip to South America.
O'Neill's men face Uruguay in Montevideo on May 30 before taking on Chile in Valparaiso on June 4.
While still not in possession of a full cap, former Sunderland stopper Carson - who was recently released by Bury after spending the season on loan with Portsmouth - has been in the senior squad before and has represented Northern Ireland B.
McLaughlin, a 19-year-old right-back, has also previously been an unused squad member and returns to the fold having made a first-team breakthrough at club level in 2013/14, turning out nine times for Barnsley on loan.
He has been in the youth ranks at Liverpool, for whom he is still waiting to make his senior debut.
Donnelly, 18, and part of the youth set-up at Fulham that has been gaining considerable attention of late, has not made a first-team appearance in English football, while 20-year-old ex-Manchester United academy member McCullough has been playing for Doncaster over the past season.
Dundee United's Paton was called into the last squad - for the 0-0 friendly draw in Cyprus in March - as a replacement for Sammy Clingan.
There are several more experienced campaigners who are back involved having missed the Cyprus game in QPR's Aaron Hughes, fellow defender Chris Baird - now at Burnley - and Blackburn midfielder Corry Evans. Another midfielder, New York Red Bulls' Jonny Steele, has also been recalled, and Kilmarnock's Clingan is included again.
But O'Neill is without West Brom duo Gareth McAuley and Chris Brunt, Palermo's Kyle Lafferty and Hull's Alex Bruce, who came off with an injury in Saturday's FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal.
Northern Ireland squad to play Uruguay and Chile:
R Carroll (Olympiacos), M McGovern (Falkirk), T Carson (Portsmouth), D Lafferty (Burnley), R McLaughlin (Liverpool), A Hughes (QPR), L McCullough (Doncaster), L Donnelly (Fulham), C Baird (Burnley), S Davis (Southampton), O Norwood (Huddersfield), S Ferguson (Newcastle), C Evans (Blackburn), S Clingan (Kilmarnock), J Steele (New York Red Bulls), P Paton (Dundee United), N McGinn (Aberdeen), B McKay (Inverness), M Paterson (Huddersfield), J Ward (Derby), D Shiels (Rangers), J Magennis (Aberdeen).