Former Cherries goalkeeper called up to senior Northern Ireland squad - aged just 17

·2-min read
Josh Clarke during his time at Cherries (Picture: Richard Crease)
Josh Clarke during his time at Cherries (Picture: Richard Crease)

FORMER Cherries goalkeeper Josh Clarke could make his senior debut for Northern Ireland next month.

The 17-year-old, who has been part of squads from four different countries at youth level, has been called up by boss Ian Baraclough for four upcoming Nations League fixtures.

The Green and White Army face Cyprus twice, as well as competing against Greece and Kosovo.

Clarke has already had an interesting early career.

The goalkeeper, who famously scored a goal for Cherries under-18s in December 2020, joined the Dorset club from Chelsea a few months earlier.

READ: Goalkeeper Josh Clarke scores stunner for Cherries under-18s

However, he has now departed the south coast.

Clarke, who previously accepted call-ups from Sweden, England and Republic of Ireland, recently opted to pledge his international allegiance to Northern Ireland.

He was on the bench for March's international friendly win over Luxembourg.

But he could now make his senior international debut, having just racked up his first minutes of senior club football.

Clarke joined Northern Ireland Premiership outfit Glenavon in April and made a dream debut, saving a penalty in a 3-1 win over Ballymena United.

He has gone on to represent Gary Hamilton's Lurgan Blues on five more occasions, including in a Europa League play-off against Glentoran.

Discussing his call-ups to the Northern Ireland senior squad, Clarke said: “I can’t thank Ian Baraclough and Roy Carroll enough for bringing me into the Northern Ireland team.

“For me, just to experience that and see what it’s like at senior international level as a 17-year-old is fantastic.

“If I ever get a chance to experience something like that again, hopefully I’ll be prepared for it. To hear the fans at Windsor Park and to be on the bench in Luxembourg was such an experience.”

Clarke spent time training with Cherries' first team, including his role as third keeper on matchday for the FA Cup win over Oldham Athletic in January 2021.

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