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By ESPN Staff

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).

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