Jamal Lewis receives first international call up for Northern Ireland; Grant Hanley back in the mix for Scotland

PUBLISHED: 11:30 12 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:53 12 March 2018

Jamal Lewis has been called up by Northern Ireland for the first time. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Jamal Lewis has been called up by Northern Ireland for the first time. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Norwich City youngster Jamal Lewis has been handed his first international call-up for Northern Ireland whilst Grant Hanley returns to Scotland squad.

The 20-year-old Lewis is one of two uncapped players, alongside Celtic goalkeeper Conor Hazard, to be called up by manager Michael O’Neill for their friendly against South Korea at Windsor Park on Saturday, March 24.

Lewis endured a difficult afternoon in City’s 4-3 defeat at Hull at the weekend but has been one of the club’s success stories this season, making the breakthrough from the academy to the first team.

He has made 15 appearances for City so far this season after overcoming a knee injury sustained in pre-season. He famously scored an injury time equaliser against Chelsea in City’s third round replay at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Hanley’s impressive form for the Canaries has earned him a return to the Scotland squad under new national boss Alex McLeish for upcoming friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary.

Hanley was included in the squad list released on Monday morning, along with club mate Russell Martin, who has been a key part of a Rangers’ revival since a loan move from the Canaries.

The duo were joined by January signing Kenny McLean, who returned to his former club Aberdeen for the rest of the current seasson before linking up with his new club this coming summer.

Centre back Hanley has been the dominant figure in Norwich’s backline since establishing himself under Daniel Farke following a close-season move from Newcastle United.

The 26-year-old made it clear earlier this month he is keen to get back into the national set-up after his lack of game time at club level curtailed his involvement under previous boss Gordon Strachan.

Grant Hanley has been in impressive club form for Norwich City. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdGrant Hanley has been in impressive club form for Norwich City. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The defender’s last start for his country came way back in November 2016 against England at Wembley.

Rangers’ loanee Martin missed the weekend’s Old Firm defeat to Celtic with a back problem but had been playing regularly at Ibrox since his January switch.

City club mate Steven Naismith is not in the Scotland squad after enduring an injury-hit stint at Hearts.

McLeish’s squad host World Cup-bound Costa Rica in Glasgow on March 23 before a trip to facce Hungary four days later.

Former Norwich player and manager Peter Grant has joined McLeish as one of his assistant coaches.

Finally, City Under-23s midfielder Ebou Adams has been called up by the Gambian national side for their upcoming friendly match.

Adams, currently on loan at Leyton Orient, will be looking to earn his second international cap following his debut against Morocco in November.

Gambia face Algeria in a friendly on Saturday, March 24.

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