Tuesday 22 January 2019

Michael O'Neill confirms former Republic of Ireland winger Sean Scannell will switch allegiance

Sean Scannell
Sean Scannell

Sam Roberts

Huddersfield Town winger Sean Scannell is set to join the Northern Ireland squad ahead of their UEFA Nations League campaign in September.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill told Belfast Live that the 27-year-old will be part of his plans for the Nations League campaign, which starts next season against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Scannell was born in England to a Northern Irish father, and in 2008 he was named in Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland squad for a friendly match against Serbia.

However, Scannell never made it off the bench that night, and was never capped by Ireland, opening the door for him to represent Northern Ireland.

Manager Michael O'Neill said the Huddersfield winger would provide his side with another, younger attacking option ahead of the Nations League campaign.

“Sean has submitted all the paperwork. He has a shoulder injury at the moment, but he is a player who will come into the equation for us come September," O'Neill told Belfast Live.

“If you look at Niall (McGinn) and Jamie (Ward) who play in that position – they are both in their 30s. There is an element of making a succession plan in terms of where we need players.

“Someone like Sean coming in would be good. It would be pleasing to get him on board.”

Northern Ireland are drawn in a group with Austria and Bosnia and Herzegovina in League B of UEFA's new Nations League competition, which aims to incentivise national sides between major tournaments and eliminate meaningless friendly games from international football.

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