Sunderland right-back Trai Hume 'excites' Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill is excited to be working with Sunderland right-back Trai Hume and a number of other young players.
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Hume’s defensive teammate at Sunderland, Dan Ballard, has also been called up to O’Niell’s squad after a string of decent performances for the Black Cats since returning from a foot injury.

Hume and Ballard join former two-time Black Cats loanee Jonny Evans in the squad for this month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers with San Marino and Finland.

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Another former Sunderland man, Paddy McNair, is also in O’Neill’s squad for the qualifiers, having continued to impress under Michael Carrick at Middlesbrough.

Sunderland right-back Trai Hume.Sunderland right-back Trai Hume.
Sunderland right-back Trai Hume.

Hume, 20, made the move to Sunderland from Linfield in the January of 2022 and was part of the squad that won promotion from League One to the Championship.

“It’s a different squad to what I had before,” O’Neill told The Athletic regarding the youngsters in is squad.. “But it still has a lot of the mainstays. It’s what is around it that excites me - I didn’t have numbers of players coming through in those years.

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"Now we’ve Shea Charles, Isaac Price, Dale Taylor, Conor Bradley, Trai Hume. They could all play in the under-21s. With Jim Magilton, we did a huge amount of work setting up Club NI. There’s Ethan Galbraith (a Manchester United youngster out on loan at Salford City in League Two) as well.”