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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 May, 2003, 07:36 GMT 08:36 UK
McIlroy sees future stars
Northern Ireland manager Sammy McIlroy is preparing for games against Italy and Spain
Sammy McIlroy was impressed with Irish League players

Northern Ireland manager Sammy McIlroy believes Tuesday's 'B' game in Scotland has unearthed some senior stars of the future.

McIlroy's 'B' side lost 2-1 to their Scottish counterparts in Glasgow but produced a performance which heartened the NI boss.

He has endured a miserable run of results and was desperate for a lift ahead of June's friendly in Italy and the European Championship qualifier in Spain.

Crewe Alexandra's Steve Jones got the Northern Ireland goal on a night which left McIlroy impressed.

"I am delighted with the performance. Every one of the Irish boys played with heart and passion," said McIlroy.

"One or two players have booked their flights to Italy, but I am not saying who as I have not told them yet.

"Scotland had a strong side with seven or eight of their full national team while we had boys from the Irish League and players on the fringes.

"They were all tremendous and we should have come away with something.

"The Irish League boys did very well. Andy Smith was tireless, had a tremendous workrate and nearly scored on a couple of occasions. I was very pleased with him."

NI manager Sammy McIlroy
"The Irish League boys did very well"

Scottish second string win
20 May 03  |  Northern Ireland

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