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Northern Ireland Full Stregnth


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And to think Canada are 1 up as We speak :D

North playing with the full deck

It does not happen often – but for once the Northern Ireland soccer manager has not been having that sinking feeling when the phone rings.

Normally in the run-up to a game the men in charge have been plagued by a spate of last-minute withdrawls.

But this week Lawrie Sanchez has the unexpected luxury of a full panel to choose from for tonight’s friendly against Canada at Windsor Park, kick off 8.00pm.

After all who would turn down the chance of a cap against Beckham & Co.

Key man in the squad, striker David Healy, took part in training yesterday apparently showing no ill effects of his groin strain.

Keith Gillespie seems to have shrugged off the attentions of a virus – while Mark Clyde showed no effects of an ankle injury on the training ground.

Set to get his first cap is Aston Villa midfielder Steve Davis – while there is a return after a two-year absence to the squad for front man Andy Kirk now with Boston United.

“Yes he’s gone down a division and he’s proving he can score goals on a regular basis with the manager picking him every week,” says Sanchez, “and now he could end up a division or two higher”.

The Canadians are a relatively unknown quantity.

“I watched a couple of tapes,” said Sanchez, “and none of those players are playing.

“They have a lot of Canadian-based players and a lot of European-based players and obviously they’ve gone because of the distance they’ve gone for the European ones this trip.”

Sanchez make no bones about it – he wants a win to lift the team even further and give their loyal fans hope as the Old Trafford crunch game draws ever nearer.

© Daily Ireland

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