City target under the spotlight

Mark McAllister - said to be a target for Norwich City - will come under the spotlight tonight when he is expected to make his debut for Northern Ireland Under-21s.

Mark McAllister - said to be a target for Norwich City - will come under the spotlight tonight (Wednesday) when he is expected to make his debut for Northern Ireland Under-21s.

Scouts from across Britain are attending the province's friendly against Scotland Under-20s at Partick Thistle's Firhill Stadium, hoping to see the Dungannon Swifts striker in action.

McAllister is being chased by a number of English and Scottish clubs after rejecting Celtic's offer of a two-year contract.

The 19-year-old civil servant has enjoyed a whirlwind few months, leading his club to the Irish Cup final and being named young player of the year by the Northern Ireland Football Writers' Association. Under-21 manager Roy Millar indicated that McAllister turned down the chance of going to Parkhead because he would have little chance of a game.

Millar said: "I believe Mark looked at the number of people ahead of him at Celtic and he was number 37.

"He decided it was going to be a long, hard road.

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"I think he is now looking at the Championship in England."

Millar believes the youngster, who scored 15 goals this season, can step up a level.

He said: "Mark has had a good year. He is big, strong and has a bit of pace about him.'

Millar's squad trained at Glasgow University today and are using the friendly as a warm-up to their opening European Championship qualifier against Moldova on June 1.

He added: "We have a nice mix of players and it should be ideal preparation as games against Scotland are always keenly contested.'