Dundee’s on-loan Celtic forward wins maiden Northern Ireland call-up with ‘high-level performances’


BY IAIN COLLIN –[email protected]_sport

Celtic attacker Michael Duffy fully deserves his international call-up, according to Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill.

The 22-year-old, who joined Dundee on a season-long loan this summer, has been drafted in by the Euro 2016 finalists for the first time ahead of their World Cup qualifier away to the Czech Republic a week on Sunday.

Duffy made a dream switch from Derry City to Celtic in January last year before spending the whole of last season on loan at Alloa Athletic.

Michael O'Neill

And he has been farmed out again by the Hoops to Dundee, netting once in six outings for the Dens Park outfit.

Duffy has seven under-21 caps to his name and O’Neill insists he merits the step-up to the full side following his displays for the country’s young team.

O’Neill said: “Michael is a player that recently moved from the League of Ireland to Celtic and has had two loan periods, last season at Alloa and this season at Dundee in the Scottish Premiership.

“He’s a player who has been rewarded for his consistently good performances in the under-21s.

“He’s always been available to us at under-21 level and his performances have been of a very high level.

“So, it’s nice to bring him and give him the opportunity.”

Goalkeepers Michael McGovern and Alan Mannus, midfielder Steven Davis and strikers Kyle Lafferty, Liam Boyce and Josh Magennis are all in O’Neill’s 23-man squad.