Michael Smith named in Northern Ireland squad but Hearts team-mate Liam Boyce misses out
Hearts defender Michael Smith has regained his place in the Northern Ireland squad for next month’s matches against Lithuania, Estonia and Switzerland.
However, his Tynecastle Park colleague Liam Boyce has not been included in Ian Baraclough’s pool for “family reasons”.
Smith has been capped 17 times and could add to his collection if he features in either of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Lithuania or the Swiss, or in the friendly against Estonia.
There is no room for former Hearts and Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty, currently with Anorthosis Famagusta in Cyprus.
Other Scottish-based representation comes from Dundee United goalkeeper Trevor Carson and Celtic ‘keeper Conor Hazard; Steven Davis of Rangers, Aberdeen forward Niall McGinn, and St Johnstone talisman Ali McCann.
Ex-Hearts striker Conor Washington is back in the squad for the first time since November 2020 but there is no place for McGinn’s Pittodrie team-mate Matty Kennedy, who made his debut against Romania last year.
Northern Ireland squad
Goalkeepers: Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Sheffield Wednesday, loan), Trevor Carson (Dundee United), Conor Hazard (Celtic).
Defenders: Jonny Evans (Leicester City), Craig Cathcart (Watford), Stuart Dallas (Leeds United), Shane Ferguson (Rotherham United), Michael Smith (Heart of Midlothian), Jamal Lewis (Newcastle United), Daniel Ballard (Millwall, loan), Ciaron Brown (Cardiff City).
Midfielders: Steven Davis (Rangers), Corry Evans (Sunderland), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), George Saville (Millwall), Jordan Thompson (Stoke City), Ali McCann (St Johnstone), Gavin Whyte (Oxford United, loan), Paddy McNair (Middlesbrough), Jordan Jones (Wigan Athletic), Conor Bradley (Liverpool).
Forwards: Josh Magennis (Hull City), Conor Washington (Charlton Athletic), Shayne Lavery (Blackpool), Dion Charles (Accrington Stanley).