Kofi Balmer Handed Maiden Senior Call-Up For Northern Ireland

(Image credit: Crystal Palace)

Crystal Palace defender, Kofi Balmer has been handed his maiden senior call-up for Northern Ireland.

Balmer has been named in defence following his move from Larne to Crystal Palace this summer and is the only uncapped player named in the squad, as he replaces the injured Daniel Ballard whilst Trai Hume has been snubbed as Jamal Lewis and Tom Flanagan return from injury.

In goal, Conor Hazard has been recalled in place of Trevor Carson and Josh Clarke who both been dropped by manager, Ian Baraclough for this month’s fixtures.

In midfield, Shane Ferguson returns after he missed June’s Nations League fixtures as Baraclough cut his midfield, with Nial McGinn, Charlie McCann, Liam Donnelly and Alfie McCalmont all dropped from the squad whilst Conor McMenamin moved from forward to midfield.

Up front, Conor Washington misses out as Baraclough otherwise retain his same forward selection as he named in June minus Washington.

Northern Ireland will commence their final two UEFA Nations League matches of the current campaign with a home clash against Kosovo on 24 September, before visiting Greece three days later on 27 September in must-win matches if they’re to avoid relegation to League D.

Goalkeepers: Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Burnley), Luke Southwood (Chetenham Town – on loan from Reading), Conor Hazard (HJK Helsinki)

Defence: Jonny Evans (Leicester City), Paddy McNair (Middlesbrough), Conor Bradley (Bolton Wanderers – on loan from Liverpool), Jamal Lewis (Newcastle United), Tom Flanagan (Shrewsbury Town), Ciaron Brown (Oxford United), Paddy Lane (Fleetwood Town), Kofi Balmer (Crystal Palace)

Midfield: Steven Davis (Rangers), Corry Evans (Sunderland), Shane Ferguson (Rotherham United), George Saville (Millwall), Jordan Thompson (Stoke City), Alistair McCann (Preston North End), Shea Charles (Manchester City), Conor McMenamin (Glentoran)

Forward: Kyle Lafferty (Kilmarnock), Josh Magennis (Wigan Athletic), Gavin Whyte (Cardiff City), Dion Charles (Bolton Wanderers),  Shayne Lavery (Blackpool)

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