Northern Ireland: Whyte and McGeehan called up for central American tour
Crusaders’ Gavin Whyte and Scunthorpe’s on loan Cameron McGeehan have been called up for Northern Ireland’s games in Panama and Costa Rica.
An experimental squad sees experienced skipper Steven Davis rested for the trip to Central America.
Kyle Lafferty, Michael McGovern, Jamie Ward and Conor Washington will also miss the tour.
Uncapped Leeds keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell is included although he has been in previous squads.
Whyte, 22, and midfielder McGeehan, 23, have both been capped at Under-21 level.
McGeehan has been on loan at Scunthorpe United from Barnsley since January and scored the club’s equaliser in their League One play-off semi-final first leg against Rotherham United with the second leg taking place on Wednesday evening.
Whyte wins player of the year awards
Whyte won both the Northern Ireland Football Writers’ player of the year and young player awards this season and is being strongly tipped for a cross-channel move this summer.
“We have watched Gavin Whyte for the last three years. He’s on the verge of a move to England and we hope this inclusion helps him,” said Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill.
“Cameron has been in our youth setup, he’s a player that has been injury hit.
“It’s a chance for a fresh face to come and see what he’s about.”
West Brom pair Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley have been included but their club-mate Chris Brunt is not included as he continues to weigh up his international future.
Skipper Davis misses out having played just 32 minutes of football for Southampton since February.
Norwich’s Jamal Lewis is also absent after making his debut against South Korea in March while Kilmarnock’s Jordan Jones is unavailable after undergoing groin surgery earlier this month.
QPR’s Paul Smyth will travel to Central America after hitting Northern Ireland’s winner in the home win over South Korea in March.
Northern Ireland face Panama, who will be in England’s World Cup group, on 30 May before meeting Costa Rica in San Jose on 3 June.
Northern Ireland squad
Goalkeepers: Carson (Motherwell), Hazard (Celtic – loan Falkirk), Peacock-Farrell (Leeds)
Defenders: Hughes (Hearts), McAuley (West Brom), J Evans (West Brom), Cathcart (Watford), McLaughlin (Millwall), Hodson (Rangers), McCullough (Doncaster Rovers)
Midfielders: Norwood (Brighton – loan Fulham), C Evans (Blackburn), Ferguson (Millwall), Dallas (Leeds), McNair (Sunderland), Saville (Millwall), Whyte (Crusaders), McGeehan (Barnsley – loan Scunthorpe Utd)
Forwards: Magennis (Charlton), Boyce (Burton Albion), Smyth (QPR), McCartan (Bradford City)
Source: BBC SPORT NI