Liam Boyce gets Northern Ireland call-up as Hearts striker retains place in much-changed squad
Hearts striker Liam Boyce has been named in Ian Baraclough’s Northern Ireland squad for two closed-doors friendly matches against Malta and Ukraine.
The 30-year-old, who struck 14 goals as Hearts won the Scottish Championship title, keeps his place in the group despite a raft of changes with several senior players omitted.
Former Tynecastle forward Conor Washington is not included while Boyce’s team-mate Michael Smith also misses out. Veteran Rangers midfielder Steven Davis is another who will sit out the double-header although there is a recall for Ibrox winger Jordan Jones and Kilmarnock forward Kyle Lafferty retains his place in the squad.
St Johnstone midfielder Ali McCann, who helped his side to an historic cup double this season, is named as art of the midfield collective alongside Aberdeen’s Niall McGinn while Celtic’s Conor Hazard is one of three goalkeepers included.
Northern Ireland face Malta in Klagenfurt, Austria on Sunday, May 30 before travelling to Dnipro to take on Ukraine on Thursday, June 3.