Shay Answers NI Call

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Shay Answers NI Call thumbnail SHAY McCartan receives his SkyBet Division Two Player of Month award in March. The Glenn man has been called into the Northern Ireland training squad.

SHAY McCartan has been called up to a training camp with the full Northern Ireland squad and says it's the "best feeling ever."

McCartan, the SkyBet League Two Player of the Month for March with Lancashire outfit Accrington Stanley, received a text inviting him to a training camp in Manchester from May 22-25 and, after this, the squad will be announced for an international friendly at home to New Zealand on June 2 and a World Cup qualifier in Azerbaijan on June 10.

"I am delighted," said McCartan, who has been a stand out player for the Reds in the second half of the season as they went on a run which took them to the fringes of the play- offs.

"I got a phone call from my agent telling me to expect a text and it's one of the best texts I have had, it's the best feeling ever.

"I have come through from U16s through to seniors but this is massive. It's a training camp where I will be among Premier League and Championship players and, even though I am in League Two, it's superb that I have been noticed.

"It will mean I miss holidays but it's worth it as to get a full international call-up is a huge achievement.

"The standard will be really high, it will be a lot faster but I have got to try and make an impression. I can't wait." McCartan has long been a sporting hot property, as a two time MacRory Cup and Hogan Cup winner with St Colman's College in 2011 alongside the likes of current Down stars Donal O'Hare and Caolan Mooney.

As a 17-year-old he was also called into the Down minor squad and in the Ulster MFC opener of 2011, he memorably snaffled three goals before half-time in a 3-11 to 5-4 defeat for the Mourne men.

A career with his native county, to follow in the famous footsteps of his storied McCartan relatives beckoned, but McCartan was already with Irish League club Glenavon by the time of that stunning feat against Armagh, and from there he signed with Burnley before transferring to Accrington.


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