Northern Ireland-Netherlands: Roy Carroll and James McPake named

James McPake
James McPake

Goalkeeper Roy Carroll has been recalled to the Northern Ireland squad for the friendly game against the Netherlands after a six-year absence.

Carroll, who has won 19 caps, is now playing for Greek club Olympiakos.

Michael O'Neill has also named Hibernian skipper James McPake, who qualifies through a Coleraine-born grandparent, in a youthful squad.

Swansea striker Rory Donnelly is also called up for the first time, as are Daniel Lafferty and William Grigg.

Steve Davis, Jonny Evans, Gareth McAuley, Chris Brunt, Aaron Hughes, Kyle Lafferty and Dean Shiels are among the experienced players missing from the squad.

Former Manchester United keeper Carroll won the last of his 19 caps back in 2006.

Walsall player Grigg has previously played for the Northern Ireland Under-21 side, while left-back Lafferty, also capped at U21 level, joined Burnley from Derry City in January.

Donnelly signed for Swansea from Cliftonville during the season while there are recalls for Jeff Hughes and Rory McArdle.

McPake, currently on loan from Coventry City, scored Hibs' only goal in the Scottish Cup final defeat by Hearts.

Defender Colin Coates is the only Irish League player named.

"Injuries have played a big part in terms of the ones who aren't available," said Northern Ireland boss O'Neill.

"Kyle, Steve, Dean, Chris and Jonny are all injured, as are Martin Paterson and Jamie Ward.

"Some have had surgery and others will have to. Gareth McAuley has wedding commitments and Aaron Hughes informed me when he came out of retirement that he had family commitments."

Scotland-born McPake, who qualifies via the grandparents rule, represents the first example of O'Neill's policy of expanding the available player pool.

The defender ended the season on loan at Hibernian from Coventry and has opted to throw his lot in with Northern Ireland after failing to win international recognition with Scotland.

"James has a lot of attributes that can be very useful for us," added O'Neill.

"He's versatile, can play anywhere across the back and he's been on the fringes of the Scottish squad."

O'Neill has included Donnelly after having "numerous" conversations with his Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers.

"I've decided this is the right time to bring him in. He has great raw materials, no doubt about that."

The Northern Ireland manager added that it would have been "remiss" not to have considered keeper Carroll.

"Roy is someone I know well - he was a young player at Wigan when I was there.

"I have a good relationship with him personally and he's rebuilt his career abroad, which is a brave decision."

Northern Ireland squad: Camp, Mannus, Carroll, Duff, McGivern, Hodson, Coates, McArdle, D Lafferty, McPake, Clingan, McCann, C Evans, Ferguson, J Hughes, Norwood, McCourt, Healy, McQuoid, McGinn, Carson, Little, Grigg, R Donnelly

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