Five East Antrim natives have been named in in the Northern Ireland squad for the upcoming matches against Qatar and Romania.
Larne’s Gareth McAuley (West Brom), and four Newtownabbey men, Jonny Evans (Man Utd), Criag Cathcart (Watford), Paddy McNair (Man Utd) and Corry Evans (Blackburn), are part of Michael O’Neill’s 28-man panel.
There is no place on the panel for Peterborough United’s Michael Smith who has performed well since his move from Bristol Rovers last summer.
O’Neill’s men face Qatar in a friendly at Crewe’s Gresty Road on May 31 before taking on Group F leaders Romania in a key Euro 2016 qualifier at Windsor Park on June 13.
Northern Ireland are in a strong position in the group, just a point behind Romania and four points clear of third-placed Hungary after five games.
Northern Ireland squad for games against Qatar and Romania: R Carroll (Notts County), M McGovern (Hamilton), T Carson (Cheltenham) A Hughes (Brighton), C Baird, G McAuley (both West Brom), J Evans (Man Utd), C Cathcart (Watford), S Ferguson (Newcastle), D Lafferty (Burnley), C McLaughlin (Fleetwood), L McCullough (Doncaster), P McNair (Man Utd), S Davis (Southampton), C Brunt (West Brom), C Evans (Blackburn), O Norwood (Reading), P McCourt (Notts Co), B Reeves (MK Dons), S Dallas (Brentford), K Lafferty (Rizespor), J Magennis (Kilmarnock), B McKay (Wigan), W Grigg (MK Dons), N McGinn (Aberdeen), J Ward (Derby), L Boyce (Ross Co), C Lavery (Sheff Wed).