Partick Thistle FC defender Stephen Craigan could be set to win his first full Northern Ireland cap against Finland at Windsor Park next week after being included in Sammy McIlroy's 19-man squad for the friendly international.
The 26-year-old Newtonards-born player was called up for the first time last March, but played no part in the friendly with Liechtenstein. Craigan has enjoyed a happy time at Partick after ending a five-year stay at Motherwell FC in 2000. He helped them to promotion to the Scottish Premier League last season and has impressed this term.
McIlroy has named an experienced squad for the 12 February match, including the likes of Gerry Taggart, Steve Lomas, Kevin Horlock and Keith Gillespie. However, Michael Hughes has been omitted as he has not played a competitive match this season for English Premiership club Birmingham City FC.
Bottom of the group
Northern Ireland are bottom of UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying Group 6 having lost 3-0 away to Spain, the section leaders, and drawn at home with Ukraine. Their next fixture is in Armenia on 29 March ahead of a home game against Greece on 2 April.
Northern Ireland squad
Taylor, Carroll, McCartney, Williams, Murdock, A Hughes, Taggart, Kennedy, Craigan, Johnson, Gillespie, Horlock, Lomas, Mulryne, Healy, Quinn, Kirk, McVeigh, Elliott.
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