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Reeves set for NI debut

5 March 2014

Ben Reeves could make his international debut tonight when Northern Ireland take on Cyprus in Nicosia.

The MK Dons midfielder joined up with Northern Ireland for the first time on Sunday and has been training with his international team-mates ahead of the friendly against Cyprus which takes place at 6pm this evening.

Reeves is one of two new faces in the 20-man squad along with Dundee United’s Paul Paton, who was drafted into the side following an injury to Sammy Clingan.

Speaking to Northern Ireland’s official YouTube channel – OfficialIrishFA – the 20-year-old said: “I was delighted to get the call-up. Obviously my family were really proud as well and I just want to get started.

“I'm really looking forward to hopefully playing a part in the game. Hopefully we can get a win and make a good start before the Euros.

“(Friendlies) are massive, especially for me who is new into the squad. Hopefully I can get used to things as quick as I can.”

Michael O’Neill’s side will be out to end a run of nine away friendlies without scoring a goal, form which stretches back to 2006. Northern Ireland will also be hoping to get their 2014 campaign off to a winning start ahead of their European Championship qualifiers later in the year.

Northern Ireland have been placed in Group F along with Greece, Hungary, Romania, Finland and Faroe Islands and will begin their qualifying campaign against the Hungarians in September.

Reeves will be hoping to make an impression ahead of those fixtures as he looks to join Dons team-mate Lee Hodson as a regular member in the squad; Hodson, of course, was forced out of tonight’s qualifier with a hip injury.

Meanwhile, Dele Alli will be preparing to play his second game in three days for England Under-18s this afternoon.

The Young Lions will face Croatia at St. George’s Park at 2pm today with Alli in line to pick up his 11th international cap if selected.

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