Dundalk man Michael O’Connor has confirmed that he has declared to play for Northern Ireland.
The Linfield striker, who has represented the Republic of Ireland at U18 and U19 levels, is now hoping for a call-up to Ian Baraclough’s Northern Ireland U21 squad.
The 20-year-old forward’s grandmother Patricia was born in Belfast, which offers him the opportunity to turn out for Northern Ireland.
O’Connor, who has played for Dundalk FC, Shamrock Rovers and Finn Harps, has hit the ground running since joining David Healy’s side in the summer and was on target in last Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Portadown in the BetMcLean Cup. Ironically by switching allegiances he will not be an option for his former manager Stephen Kenny, who is the new Republic of Ireland U21 boss.
Speaking to The Belfast Telegraph today, O’Connor said: “It is true that I’ve declared for Northern Ireland.
“My nanny Patricia is from Dundalk like me but she was born in Belfast, and I think it is the right decision for me, so going forward hopefully I will be playing for Northern Ireland.
“I just turned 20 in July so I can play in the next campaign for the Under-21s, and hopefully if I’m doing things right and scoring goals for Linfield I’ll get the nod.”
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