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Page last updated at 14:14 GMT, Monday, 3 August 2009 15:14 UK

Coates remains in N Ireland squad

Colin Coates
Colin Coates started in the 3-0 defeat by Italy in June

Crusaders defender Colin Coates has held on to his place in the Northern Ireland squad for next week's friendly against Israel at Windsor Park.

The centre-back earned his first call-up for the friendly against Italy in June and he started in the 3-0 defeat in Pisa.

Nigel Worthington was forced to bring an inexperienced squad to Italy but the panel is close to full strength again.

With Warren Feeney ruled out, Andrew Little is also retained in the squad.

The Rangers striker also started in the Pisa game.

Feeney could miss the remainder of Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifying campaign after undergoing hip surgery recently.

There will be concerns that there could be withdrawals from the squad given the start of the league seasons in England and Scotland.

Amid these fears, Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington has sent a personal letter to each squad member outlining the importance of the Israel game in advance of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Northern Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Taylor (Birmingham), Mannus (unattached), Tuffey (Partick)

Defenders: Craigan (Motherwell), Hughes (Fulham), McAuley (Ipswich), McGivern (Man City), Baird (Fulham), Evans (Man United), McCartney (Sunderland), Coates (Crusaders)

Midfielders: McCann (Scunthorpe), Brunt (West Brom), McGinn (Celtic), Clingan (Coventry), Johnson (Birmingham), Davis (Rangers)

Forwards: Healy (Sunderland), Little (Rangers), Paterson (Burnley), Lafferty (Rangers)

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see also
Pick your N Ireland XI
27 Apr 09 |  Internationals
Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland
06 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Worthington praise for NI display
06 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Worthington seeking out new stars
05 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Keeper Tuffey set to start for NI
04 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Garrett eager to make NI impact
03 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Carson surprised after NI call-up
20 May 09 |  Internationals
Irish League quintet in NI squad
20 May 09 |  Internationals
Pisa venue for NI match in Italy
06 May 09 |  Internationals

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