FOOTBALL: Ballyclare’s Joel Cooper trains with Northern Ireland squad

Ballyclare's Joel Cooper, who plays for Glenavon, trained with the Northern Ireland squad ahead of Friday's friendly against Belarus. PHOTO: PACEMAKER PRESS
Ballyclare's Joel Cooper, who plays for Glenavon, trained with the Northern Ireland squad ahead of Friday's friendly against Belarus. PHOTO: PACEMAKER PRESS

Flying winger Joel Cooper was handed the chance to train with the Northern Ireland team as they prepared for Friday’s friendly against Belarus.

Ballyclare lad Cooper, who plays for Glenavon, was named Ulster Young Player of the Year in April and also picked up the NI Football Writers’ Young Player of the Year award.

The Irish League star, who moved to Mourneview Park from Ballyclare Comrades last summer, is an Under-21 international, having made his debut in a Euro qualifier against Ukraine in November.

As a boy, Cooper played for Ballyclare Colts who helped produced Manchester United and Northern Ireland’s Paddy McNair.