Derry City’s Conor Barr and Ryan Harkin have been included in the Northern Ireland Under-18 Schools’ squad which will entertain their Scottish counterparts in Dungannon this Friday. Whilst Joshua Tracey will travel with the Northern Ireland U17 squad to play in Slovenia at the weekend.
City boss Declan Devine told the Derry Journal that he welcomed the attention, but agreed that young players would also lose out in his pre-season preparations which was not ideal.
“Our young players continue to receive international recognition which is great as we want to see every player develop to his full potential and be the best they can be,” continued Devine.
“We have no less than seven ex-Derry players involved in international set-ups and that doesn’t include Eamon Zayed, with Libya, but getting young players called up in pre-season can cause us a few problem as we want the squad to train and perform together, particularly the new players.
“However, the other side of the coin is that some of the players selected actually come back from international duty with a spring in their step having been involved with top quality full-time players, so it’s important that they get the opportunity to represent their country.
“I’ve spoken to the international managers and while I appreciate where they are coming from, I’ve also got them to understand my feelings on players being selected regularly. Hopefully there will be a good understanding between us,” he concluded.