Kilmarnock midfielder Brad Lyons named in Northern Ireland squad

The 26-year-old has made an impressive start to the season with victories over Rangers and Celtic.

Uncapped Kilmarnock midfielder Brad Lyons named in Northern Ireland squad SNS Group

Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill has called up uncapped Kilmarnock midfielder Brad Lyons for next month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers away to Slovenia and Kazakhstan after yet more injuries hit his depleted squad.

Lyons has made an impressive start to the season with the Rugby Park side and scored the winner as they beat Rangers 1-0 in the opening game.

He also captained Killie in their League Cup last-16 victory over Celtic earlier this month.

The 26-year-old, who has also had a loan spell at St Mirren, joined Derek McInnes’ side from Blackburn Rovers in the 2021 and has made three league appearances and five in the League Cup this season

He has now been awarded with international recognition after a promising start to life in Scotland.

Senior internationals Steven Davis, Stuart Dallas, Shane Ferguson and Corry Evans had already been ruled out of the trip and have been joined on the injury list by Liverpool wing-back Conor Bradley, Watford left-back Jamal Lewis, and Nottingham Forest defender Aaron Donnelly.

However, there is some good news for O’Neill, with strike pair Josh Magennis and Conor Washington returning along with Sunderland defender Dan Ballard.

QPR winger Paul Smyth is also in the squad, having last played for his country in 2021.

Veteran duo Jonny Evans and Craig Cathcart have both been selected amongst the defenders despite not having played competitively since the end of last season, with their club futures yet to be resolved.

Eight players who were in the squad in June are missing, including Bradley, Lewis and Donnelly.

Leyton Orient midfielder Ethan Galbraith, Portsmouth midfielder Paddy Lane, West Ham forward Callum Marshall Larne striker Lee Bonis and unattached midfielder Sean Goss also miss out.

Northern Ireland, who sit fifth in Group H with only three points from four qualifiers so far, face Slovenia in Ljubljana on September 7 before heading to Astana to take on Kazakhstan on September 10.

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