Banbridge player Adam Salley is named in the Under 18 squad for England international match

Banbridge forward Adam Salley who has been called up to Northern Ireland U18s.
Banbridge forward Adam Salley who has been called up to Northern Ireland U18s.

Banbridge forward Adam Salley has been named in NI Schools’ Under 18 Managers Conor Marlin and Frankie Wilson’s squad of 18 players for their opening game in the Centenary Shield at Eastleigh on Friday March 6, kick off 7.00 pm.

Coleraine centre back Lyndon Kane who played last season returns to the squad. There is a wealth of experience in the squad as six other players also played for last year’s Under 18 team which finished as runners up in the Centenary Shield while several other players have been capped at Under 17 level.

That experience will be vital against a strong England side which will be determined to retain the Centenary Shield.

Northern Ireland has an excellent record on English soil. In eight meeting the English have only been successful twice.

Two years ago the game ended in a 1-1 draw in Plymouth while before that Northern Ireland came out on top 2-0 at Telford and 1-0 at Macclesfield.

Following the game at Eastleigh Northern Ireland will host the Republic of Ireland at Ferney Park Ballinamallard on St Patrick’s Day, kick off 5.00 pm.

Frankie Wilson commented: “This is a tough start to our Centenary Shield campaign. England are the current champions while the Republic has also lifted the shield in recent years.

“Success in these two opening games would help us greatly in our quest to regain the championship.”

Northern Ireland have an impressive record in the Centenary Shield, winning it four times outright and sharing another three titles.

The Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association is offering free entrance to any school or youth group wishing to attend the home game against the Republic of Ireland at Ballinamallard. Any group wishing to gain free entrance should send their details by email to Edwin Ferris, NISFA Treasurer, at edwinferris@yahoo.co.uk to obtain a group permit.