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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 October 2007, 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
NI to compete for U23 silverware
Linfield manager David Jeffrey
David Jeffrey will manage the N Ireland U23 outfit
Northern Ireland is to compete in an Under-23 International Challenge Trophy event for the first time with Linfield boss David Jeffrey as manager.

The competition will be staged over two years and will primarily feature players from the Irish League.

Northern Ireland have been drawn in Group B alongside Belgium, Republic of Ireland and Slovakia.

Jeffrey's side will face Belgium away later this year before hosting the Republic of Ireland next spring.

Their final match will be away to Slovakia next October.

Group A will consist of trophy holders England, Finland, Wales and Italy and the group winners will meet in the final in February, 2009.

The tournament comes as a follow-up to a successful representative match against the English National Game XI earlier this year.

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