Preston starlet Barton gets Northern Ireland call
Promising Preston North End midfielder Adam Barton has been drafted into the Northern Ireland senior squad for the first time.
Barton is a surprise pick by manager Nigel Worthington for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Italy and the Faroe Islands next month.
The 20-year-old has been fast-tracked after making six league appearances for his club this season and scoring once.
Blackburn-born Barton, who qualifies through one of his parents, has played for Northern Ireland's Under-19 side.
Worthington has recalled Celtic pair Niall McGinn, following his recovery from a broken foot, and Paddy McCourt.
McCourt is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury but is expected to be fit for at least one of the qualifiers.
Worthington said: "I am delighted to bring Adam in. I have monitored him very closely and he has always caught the eye. I have no qualms about bringing him into the senior group.''
Northern Ireland squad:
Taylor (Birmingham), Tuffey (Inverness), Blayney (Linfield); J Evans (Manchester Utd), Craigan (Motherwell), Cathcart (Blackpool), McAuley (Ipswich), Hughes (Fulham), Baird (Fulham); McCann (Peterborough), Brunt (West Brom), Gorman (Wolves), C Evans (Manchester United), Davis (Rangers), McGinn (Celtic), Barton (Preston), Clingan (Coventry); Healy (Sunderland), Feeney (Oldham), Lafferty (Rangers), McCourt (Celtic), Patterson (Plymouth).