Players contracted to Arsenal and Manchester United have received praise – but Ali McCann of St Johnstone is another catching the eye of Liam Boyce.
The Hearts striker scored for Northern Ireland earlier this week as they drew 1-1 with Romania. It was another chance for Ian Baraclough to give youth a chance, Arsenal kid Ballard and Saints star McCann featuring again whilst Manchester United prospect Ethan Galbraith made his debut.
Northern Ireland have been relegated to Nations League C after a tough time in League B. But it may prove to be beneficial, as now there will be more opportunities for those from Arsenal, Manchester United and St Johnstone.
Boyce is a regular with Northern Ireland, appearing 21 times for his nation. He knows what it takes to make it at international level and he’s been impressed with the latest crop of Northern Irish youth.
“Ethan only came on for a short period but even in training he was brilliant,” said Boyce. “I think any time Dan has played he has been brilliant.
“But Ali McCann was unreal. Everything he did looked like he had played 50 games for Northern Ireland. That can only be positive for us.
“We are all thinking about the World Cup qualifiers. It’s shorter but we are focusing on three big games in March.”