Nolan earns call-up from Hamilton

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The Independent Online
Ian Nolan, Sheffield Wednesday's Liverpool-born defender, has won a surprise call-up to Northern Ireland's World Cup squad to play Armenia in next week's Group Nine qualifier in Belfast.

The 26-year-old full-back qualifies through his grandparents and looks certain to make his debut on Saturday, 5 October as his new country attempt to get over their defeat by Ukraine in last month's opening Group Nine fixture.

The manager, Bryan Hamilton, said: "It's an exciting discovery for us. Having seen him play I know just how good he is."

Hamilton also brings Hull's 18-year-old goalkeeper Roy Carroll in for the first time as understudy to Alan Fettis. The Bolton centre-back Gerry Taggart, who last played in June 1995 in a home defeat by Latvia, returns to challenged for a place with Barry Hunter, fit again after missing the match against Ukraine because of injury.

The Bolton keeper Aidan Davison, Arsenal's Steve Morrow and the St Johnstone striker George O'Boyle are all left out, although only Morrow actually played against the Ukraine.

NORTHERN IRELAND Squad (v Armenia, World Cup qualifying Group Nine, Belfast, 5 Oct): Fettis (Nottm Forest), Carroll (Hull), Nolan (Sheff Wed), Griffin (St Johnstone), Hunter (Reading), Hill (Leicester), Worthington (Stoke), Rowland, Dowie, Hughes (all West Ham), Taggart (Bolton), Gillespie (Newcastle), McMahon (Stoke), Magilton (Southampton), Lennon (Leicester), Lomas (Man City), O'Neill (Coventry), Gray (Nancy).