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Country Recognition

COLERAINE FC extends its best wishes to four of our players who will compete for Northern Ireland in the upcoming Centenary Shield fixture against Scotland…

Alex Henderson, Lewis Tosh, Jack McFeely and Patrick Kelly have been named in the panel which takes on the Scots at Renfrew FC’s ground in Renfrewshire this evening (7pm KO).

Team boss Frankie Wilson says his side face a tough first game in their defence of the trophy they won in 2019.

He pointed out: “We have worked extremely hard in team selection this year. We have watched more school and club games than ever before as we have missed the last two years due to Covid. This means that we have had to start the team from scratch rather than bringing players through as we have done in previous years.

“We look forward to playing in Renfrew. It’s a lovely ground where we are always treated so well by our Scottish Schools’ FA friends. The Scotland games have been close encounters and we envisage a similar pattern.”

Wilson knows it will be vital to get a result against the Scots in his team’s quest to retain the shield.

He added: “We have some excellent players in our squad. We have boys who are already playing senior football in Northern Ireland and this does help us against the other nations. We desperately want to retain the coveted shield and extend our 24-game unbeaten run in the Centenary Shield, which began in March 2017.”

Through the broadcast agreement the Centenary Shield games will be shown live across BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport app and connected Red Button. All of the matches kick off at 7pm.

Northern Ireland will also be in action on matchday two. They are due to face Wales next Thursday (10 March) at the revamped Blanchflower Stadium in east Belfast which is now the home of Harland and Wolff Welders FC.

And they are scheduled to be back at the Welders again on Friday 25 March when England will provide the opposition.

Their final game in the competition is away to Republic of Ireland Schoolboys on 31 March. The venue is set to be Buncrana Hearts FC’s ground in Co Donegal.

Naturally, everyone at Coleraine FC wishes Northern Ireland well for the tournament.