City duo called up to Northern Ireland squad
PUBLISHED: 10:35 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:35 24 August 2020
Norwich City duo Jamal Lewis and Michael McGovern have been named in Ian Baraclough’s first Northern Ireland squad.
The duo are set to feature in Nations League games against Romania and Norway in early September and join Tim Krul and Przemyslaw Placheta as absentees for City’s League Cup clash with Luton Town on September 5.
Lewis has become a mainstay of the Northern Ireland squad since he broke through to City’s first-team in December 2017.
The 22-year-old has 12 international appearances to his name and worked alongside Baraclough during his single cap for the nation’s under-21 side.
Lewis was born in Luton, but is eligble to play for Northern Ireland due to his mother Catrina - who is from Belfast. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph before his debut, Lewis said: “Obviously half my family’s from here so it was a bit of a no-brainer for me when Michael (O’Neill) asked me to join the senior squad.
“I was just delighted. Everything’s moving so quickly, I’m just trying to take it all in my stride. It was a really proud moment for me. My mum Catrina, who is from Belfast, was ecstatic, she was going crazy!
“Obviously there were decisions to be made regarding Northern Ireland or England but I’ve made it so it’s in the past now. I just want to enjoy it with the Northern Ireland squad and move forward.”
McGovern also features in Baraclough’s debut squad and has fallen down the pecking order due to the progression of former Leeds goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
The 36-year-old has made 30 appearances for his country since his international debut in 2010. His performance against Germany in Euro 2016 earned him plaudits from across the continent.
Speaking to BBC Football in June about his international prospects, McGovern said: “I can always come in and play for Northern Ireland, if needed.
“I obviously haven’t played as often over the last few years, mainly because I wasn’t playing that much for Norwich. It’s not ideal in terms of minutes on the pitch, but I’ve enough experience in big games to call on if I have to play.”
Former City striker Kyle Lafferty has also been included in the squad - he recently put pen to paper on a deal to sign for Italian side Reggina after spells with Sunderland and Rangers.