Quick return to training for Preston North End midfielder as he reports for Northern Ireland duty

Preston North End midfielder Ali McCann will have his boots back on this week at a Northern Ireland training camp ahead of four Nations League games in June.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 16th May 2022, 12:19 pm

McCann is part of a 26-man squad which has more of a youthful look, with it not including players still involved in Premier League games or EFL play-off matches.

He’s not had too far to go, with the four-day training camp taking place at St George’s Park in Staffordshire.

McCann, 22, has won 11 caps for Northern Ireland and established himself as a regular over the last couple of seasons.

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Preston North End midfielder Ali McCann in action against Middlesbrough at Deepdale

Several Under-21 and Under-19s players are at the training camp as Northern Ireland manager Ian Barraclough considers his options ready for next month’s matches.

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Barraclough said: “It will enable the younger players to showcase what they’re all about and increase their experience of international football with the senior team coaches and players.”

Preston-born Dion Charles, who plays for Bolton, is in the training ground, so too Fleetwood Town pair Paddy Lane and Barry Baggley.

McCann will be in the squad for the Nations League games, with Northern Ireland kicking those off against Greece at Windsor Park on June 2.

They then play Cyprus (a) on June 5 and Kosovo (a) on June 9, before returning to Belfast to face Cyprus on June 12.

It cuts down on McCann’s off-season break, with PNE due back in pre-season before the end of June because of the earlier start to the 2022/23 season.

North End are also likely to have Alan Browne on Nations Cup duty with the Republic of Ireland, while Daniel Johnson could be in action for Jamaica.