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Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 11:06 UK

Irish League quintet in NI squad

Martin Donnelly
Martin Donnelly is the Irish League's Young Player of the Year

Five Irish League players have been included in Nigel Worthington's 19-man Northern Ireland squad for next month's friendly international against Italy.

Squad regular Alan Mannus is joined by Crusaders pair Colin Coates and Martin Donnelly, Coleraine's Stephen Carson and Linfield midfielder Robert Garrett.

A total of 10 uncapped players have been named in the panel.

Craig Cathcart, Chris Casement, Shane Duffy, Shane Ferguson, Corry Evans and James Lawrie are the other new boys.

Damien Johnson, Grant McCann and David Healy are the only regular senior players included as several of the first-choice squad members are unavailable because of holiday commitments.

Jonathan Tuffey, Ryan McGivern, Michael O'Connor, Niall McGinn and Andrew Little complete the travelling party.

"It is nice that the more experienced players, David, Grant and Damien, want to be involved," said Worthington.

"David and Damien have not played a lot of football while Grant wants to go despite being involved in a play-off final with Scunthorpe.

"Corry Evans is a player who has impressed me and he did particularly well in the B game against Scotland so he has earned his place in the panel.

"The other players I have chosen are the future of Northern Ireland football and they have a chance to show us what they can do.

"To the senior players who are missing, I have told them to enjoy their holiday, get themselves refreshed and I look forward to seeing them in August."

Northern Ireland squad: Tuffey (Partick Thistle), Mannus (Linfield); Cathcart (Manchester Utd), Casement (Ipswich Town), Duffy (Everton), Coates (Crusaders), McGivern (Manchester City), Johnson (Birmingham City), O'Connor (unattached), Ferguson (Newcastle United), McGinn (Celtic), McCann (Scunthorpe Utd), Evans (Manchester Utd), Carson (Coleraine), Garrett (Linfield), Little (Rangers), Healy (Sunderland), Lawrie (Port Vale), Donnelly (Crusaders).

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see also
Carson surprised after NI call-up
20 May 09 |  Internationals
Pisa venue for NI match in Italy
06 May 09 |  Internationals
Worthington praise for NI pair
07 May 09 |  Internationals
Scotland B 3-0 N Ireland B
06 May 09 |  Internationals
Worthington delight after NI win
01 Apr 09 |  Internationals
N Ireland 1-0 Slovenia
01 Apr 09 |  Internationals

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