Saturday 7 December 2019

Duo called up by Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland have called up Cliftonville's Liam Boyce and Accrington's James Gray for their forthcoming South American tour.

The strike duo have been added to Michael O'Neill's squad for the games against Uruguay on May 30 and Chile on June 4 after the withdrawals of fellow forwards Martin Paterson and Jamie Ward earlier this week.

Gray, a regular in the Under-21 set-up, and wins a first call-up to the senior set-up while Boyce returns following a three-year absence.

The 23-year-old was capped under previous boss Nigel Worthington at a time when he was contracted to Werder Bremen, but now becomes the only Irish League player in O'Neill's 23-man squad.

Boyce has been prolific for Cliftonville since returning to Belfast from Germany, helping the Reds to successive league titles and catching O'Neill's eye in the process.

Northern Ireland are sure to face two tough matches in South America, with first-choice players including Jonny Evans, Gareth McAuley, Chris Brunt and Kyle Lafferty all unavailable.

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