In the Northern Ireland: Euro 2016 team preview, we look ahead to the team’s schedule and squad, as well as a prediction of how far they’ll advance in the tournament.
Northern Ireland: Euro 2016 team preview:
Manager: Michael O’Neill
Captain: Steven Davis
Northern Ireland: Euro 2016 team preview: Fixtures:
Sunday, June 12
Thursday, June 16
Tuesday, June 21
Northern Ireland: Euro 2016 team preview: Squad:
Goalkeepers: Roy Carroll (Notts County), Michael McGovern (Hamilton), Alan McManus (St Johnstone)
Defenders: Craig Cathcart (Watford), Jonny Evans (West Brom), Gareth McAuley (West Brom), Luke McCullough (Doncaster), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood), Aaron Hughes (Melbourne City), Lee Hodson (MK Dons), Chris Baird (Derby County), Paddy McNair (Manchester United.
Midfielders: Steven Davis (Southampton), Oliver Norwood (Reading), Corry Evans (Blackburn), Jamie Ward (Nottingham Forest), Stuart Dallas (Leeds), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Shane Ferguson (Millwall)
Forwards: Will Grigg (Wigan), Kyle Lafferty (Birmingham), Conor Washington (QPR), Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock)
Northern Ireland: Euro 2016 team preview: Overview:
Northern Ireland will take part in the finals of a European Championships for the first time in their history this summer, with the efforts of Michael O’Neill’s team one of the stories of qualifying.
Despite being seeded fifth in the group, the men in green eventually finished top of the pile. They did the double over former winners Greece, won in Hungary and showed a resilience throughout, losing just once in 10 games. For those displays alone, this manager and this set of players are already heroes in their homeland.
While the supporters will turn up in France ready for a party, it’d be a big surprise if the men on the field were just happy to play a part in the showpiece. Northern Ireland have overcome some grand names of European football during their resurgence over the previous decade, meaning Germany, Poland and Ukraine would be foolish to take them lightly.
Those illustrious footballing nations will tackle a team manifests as much greater than the sum of their parts. O’Neill has experienced men like Roy Carroll, Jonny Evans and Davis to call upon in the squad, but the qualities in this group come in their togetherness and collective organization, not individual flair.