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Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Wednesday, 29 September 2010 12:46 UK

Adam Barton pulls out of Northern Ireland squad

Adam Barton
Adam Barton has decided not to commit to NI at present

Adam Barton has withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad for their next two Euro 2012 qualifiers in order to remain eligible for England.

The Preston North End teenager, who was born in Blackburn, would end any hopes of England selection if he played for the Northern Ireland senior team.

Barton qualified to play for Northern Ireland under the parent rule.

"I'm disappointed but I fully understand Adam's situation," said NI manager Nigel Worthington.

The Irish Football Association said that the 19-year-old "has decided that he would like to keep his options open with regards to England and also concentrate on his club career at Preston North End".

Barton received his first call-up to the senior squad on Tuesday for qualifiers with Italy and the Faroe Islands.

The midfielder was also recently included in the Northern Ireland U21 panel.

Celtic winger Pat McCourt returns after being left out for the Slovenia game while his Parkhead team-mate Niall McGinn is back after injury.

Linfield keeper Alan Blayney is the only Irish League player selected.

McCourt, who was controversially omitted from the last squad, is rated doubtful for the Italy game with a shoulder injury.

Rangers midfielder Steven Davis was a concern for the qualifiers after suffering a hamstring injury against Aberdeen on Sunday.

But it is now expected that Davis will be back in action for his club before the crucial international games next month.

Nigel Worthington's side faces Group C leaders Italy at Windsor Park on 8 October before taking on the Faroes in Toftir four days later.

Northern Ireland started their campaign with a 1-0 victory in Slovenia earlier this month.

Northern Ireland squad: Taylor (Birmingham), Tuffey (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Blayney (Linfield), J Evans (Man Utd), Craigan (Motherwell), Cathcart (Blackpool), McAuley (Ipswich), Hughes (Fulham), Baird (Fulham), McCann (Peterborough), Brunt (West Brom), Gorman (Wolves), C Evans (Man Utd), Davis (Rangers), McGinn (Celtic), Clingan (Coventry), Healy (Sunderland), Feeney (Oldham), Lafferty (Rangers), McCourt (Celtic) Patterson (Plymouth).

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see also
Barton u-turn disappoints NI boss
29 Sep 10 |  Northern Ireland
N Ireland call up teenager Barton
28 Sep 10 |  Irish
Italy boss wary of Windsor clash
08 Sep 10 |  Irish
Slovenia 0-1 Northern Ireland
03 Sep 10 |  Irish
NI display superb - Worthington
03 Sep 10 |  Irish
Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland
06 Jun 09 |  Internationals

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