Dungannon Swifts boss and former Northern Ireland forward Dean Shiels believes Terry Devlin has the character and talent to carve out a bright future for himself in the sport.
Devlin, still only 18, shone for the Swifts last season and is part of John Schofield’s U21s squad for Friday's Euro qualifier against Spain at Inver Park (1pm).
Shiels, who won 14 Northern Ireland caps between 2005 and 2012, said: “Terry is a massive talent and he deserves the recognition he has got from Northern Ireland so far. He has almost been fast-tracked.
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“He played most of the season with us as a 17-year-old, but he played at such a high level for such a young player. His attitude is fantastic and he has a great desire to be a footballer.
“I’m delighted that he was called into Ian Baraclough’s recent senior training camp in England and is also now part of the U21s. As a player, he has a real chance.”
Shiels described Devlin, who made his U21s debut in a friendly defeat to France in Calais in March, as “a bit of an old fashioned, box-to-box midfielder”.
“He’s a very industrious player and aggressive,” he said. “He’s good in the air, competitive with his tackles and he’s also got a good passing range.
“He has had such bad luck with a couple of injuries since I’ve been Dungannon manager, but things really started coming good for him from January on.
“He has impressed and I expect him to have a big impact for us next season.”
Northern Ireland U21s, who are out of contention in their Euro qualifying group, face table-topping Spain today before concluding their campaign in Lithuania on Tuesday.
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