Premier League winger set to switch international allegiance
"Sean has submitted all the paperwork."
Two former Republic of Ireland underage players look set to switch allegiance to Northern Ireland. Sean Scannell will be available for selection for Northern Ireland for the Uefa Nations League games in the autumn, according to manager Michael O'Neill, while Niall Keown could also make the switch.
Scannell is currently on the books of Premier League side Huddersfield Town but spent most of last season on loan at Burton Albion, who suffered relegation from the Championship.
The 27-year-old was born in London and played for several Irish underage teams, from U17 through to U21. He was also called-up to the senior squad by former manager Giovanni Trapattoni.
However, the winger never made the breakthrough to become a regular member of the senior team and is now preparing to switch to Northern Ireland. Scannell qualifies for the team through his father, who was born in County Armagh, and he is also eligible to play for Jamaica.
"Sean has submitted all the paperwork. He has a shoulder injury at the moment, but he is a player who will come into the equation for us come September," Michael O'Neill told The Belfast Telegraph.
"Someone like Sean coming in would be good. It would be pleasing to get him on board."
O'Neill also spoke about Niall Keown, son of former Arsenal and England defender Martin Keown.
The 23-year-old played twice for the Republic of Ireland U21 side in 2016, but could now be set to switch allegiance to the Northern Irish team.
"Niall has family ties with Fermanagh (and Galway). He played for the South a couple of times at U21 level, but he has not been selected since then," O'Neill said.
"I met his father Martin at an event and said the option was always there if Niall wanted to consider it. I've seen him quite a lot because he is at Partick Thistle now. He's injured at the moment so we will see. The decision was if he wanted to come into consideration for us and he opted that he did."
Neither player appeared to be in the plans of Martin O'Neill or the Republic of Ireland team.