Ballinamallard player Lewis Loughlin has been called up for Northern Ireland Under 16s, and is set to face England and Wales in a three team tournament next week.

The 16 year old is currently training with Ballinamallard Under 18s, and he is hoping to line up against Wales on Tuesday, before taking on England two days later. The opposition teams will be packed with high quality players, many currently plying their trade at English Premier League clubs, but despite the tough task ahead, Lewis cannot wait to get started.

“I am looking forward to it,” he admitted. “It is going to be a great experience. We will be playing against top class quality players. Its unbelievable some of the quality.”

Lewis started his playing career as a six year old with Mountjoy, before making the switch to Ballinamallard five years ago, where he has played a key role in the success of the 2005 squad. His performances caught the eye of the Northern Ireland coaches, and he joined up to train with the best players in the province earlier this year, along with teammate and goalkeeper Nathan Hunter.

He made his competitive debut for Northern Ireland last week in a match against Crusaders Under 20s, and he has been impressed with the quality of his new teammates.

“Some of the players are amazing, but I feel I have fitted in well and adapted quite well to the tempo of the games we have played,” he said. “I have been in there a couple of months and it has been really good. The training standard has been really high.

“I played last Thursday against Crusaders Under 20s and we drew 2-2. I didn’t play too bad, but I know I can improve. I played centre half, and I thought it wasn’t too bad for my first game.”

Northern Ireland will play their first match of the tournament against Wales on Tuesday where Lewis is set to face Zach Giggs, son of Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs.

They will then play England on Thursday at St George’s Park, England’s National Football Centre.