Norwich City keeper Michael McGovern named in Northern Ireland squad for World Cup qualifier

Michael McGovern is in Northern Ireland's squad for a World Cup qualifier next month. Picture: Paul

Michael McGovern is in Northern Ireland's squad for a World Cup qualifier next month. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Michael McGovern has swelled Norwich City’s international contingent on World Cup qualifying duty, with the keeper named in the Northern Ireland squad for next month’s away trip to Azerbaijan.

McGovern and former City striker Kyle Lafferty are in Michael O’Neill’s plans for a friendly against New Zealand in Belfast on June 2 before travelling to Eastern Europe eight days later.

O’Neill’s men currently sit second in World Cup qualifying, group C, on the road to Russia 2018, after taking 10 points from their opening five matches.

Southend’s Adam Thompson and Accrington’s Shay McCartan are the notable inclusions. Thompson’s last appearance came in 2011, before O’Neill’s appointment as manager, while McCartan could make his debut amid a striker shortage brought by the absence of Conor Washington and Jamie Ward.

Washington is unavailable because he is getting married, while Ward is injured, but West Brom’s Gareth McAuley has been included despite concerns over a knee injury that meant he missed the Baggies’ final two Premier League games of the season. Burton defender Tom Flanagan is another potential debutant.

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O’Neill’s squad will spend four days in Turkey after the Belfast friendly before visiting Azerbaijan on June 10.

McGovern’s club mates Wes Hoolahan, Timm Klose, Steven Naismith and Russell Martin are also on international duty for their respective countries early next month.

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