Oxford United duo Gavin Whyte and Mark Sykes have both been included in the Northern Ireland squad for their Euro 2020 qualifying matches away to Estonia on Saturday 8th June and to Belarus on Tuesday 11th June 2019.
Both players were away with the Northern Ireland training camp and have now been included in Michael O’Neill’s final squad for the games. It is the first time that Mark has been called up for the full squad.
"He showed up really well in the training camps," O'Neill said. "We have a core group of experienced players, but the squad has become significantly younger in the past 12-15 months and the young players have done well since coming in. They have to be ready if called upon."
"Mark’s had a good start since he came across in January. Sometimes lads find it a wee bit more difficult to adapt, but in the starts he’s had at Oxford he’s played very well.
“You can see it already and I’ve been impressed with him. He’s a very natural footballer. It’s nice to see a young player like that who has come out of the Irish League and make an impact. He certainly has a great future ahead of him.”
Northern Ireland squad in full
Goalkeepers: Michael McGovern, Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Conor Hazard
Defenders: Aaron Hughes, Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans, Craig Cathcart, Conor McLaughlin, Paddy McNair, Jamal Lewis, Michael Smith, Tom Flanagan, Daniel Ballard
Midfielders: Steven Davis, Corry Evans, Shane Ferguson, Stuart Dallas, George Saville, Jordan Jones, Gavin Whyte, Jordan Thompson, Mark Sykes
Forwards: Kyle Lafferty, Josh Magennis, Conor Washington, Liam Boyce, Paul Smyth