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Arsenal teenager earns first Northern Ireland call-up

Daniel Ballard is the only new face in Michael O’Neill’s 27-man group.

Arsenal defender Daniel Ballard
Arsenal defender Daniel Ballard

ARSENAL TEENAGER DANIEL Ballard has been called up to the Northern Ireland squad for the first time for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Estonia and Belarus.

The 19-year-old featured three times for the Northern Ireland U21s last year, scoring in the 1-0 win over Iceland and starting in the victories over Spain and Slovakia.

He is the only new face in Michael O’Neill’s 27-man group, though there are recalls for forwards Will Grigg and Conor Washington.

Sheffield United midfielder Oliver Norwood has been omitted for personal reasons while Jamie Ward, Kyle Vassell, Michael Smith and Trevor Carson are all missing through injury.

Northern Ireland, who reached the last 16 at Euro 2016, begin Euro 2020 qualifying against Estonia on March 21 in Belfast before another home game against Belarus three days later.

Their group also includes Germany and Netherlands.

Northern Ireland squad: Michael McGovern, Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Conor Hazard; Jamal Lewis, Conor McLaughlin, Craig Cathcart, Jonny Evans, Gareth McAuley, Tom Flanagan, Paddy McNair, Aaron Hughes, Daniel Ballard; Corry Evans, Stuart Dallas, Steven Davis, Shane Ferguson, George Saville, Niall McGinn, Jordan Jones, Gavin Whyte, Jordan Thompson; Kyle Lafferty, Liam Boyce, Will Grigg, Conor Washington, Josh Magennis, Paul Smyth.

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