Portsmouth forward Paddy Lane suffers international disappointment - but two former Fratton Park loanees make comebacks

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Paddy Lane has been left out of Michael O’Neill’s first Northern Ireland squad following his return to the international scene.

But there’s been recalls for two former Fratton Park players ahead of the GAWA’s European Championship qualifying games against San Marino and Finland later this month– Matt Kennedy and Cameron McGeehan.

Lane, who made his international debut against Hungary last March, has three caps for Northern Ireland.

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He had been involved in the past eight squads under previous manager Ian Baraclough.

But the 22-year-old has been overlooked on this occasion as O’Neill looks to revive the Windsor Park side’s fortunes.

Lane’s season to date might be a factor, with the left-sided midfielder/forward enduring a frustrating 2022-23 campaign – despite his much-heralded deadline day move to Fratton Park from Fleetwood for an undisclosed fee in January.

The Halifax-born ace made only 10 League starts for the Cody Army before his switch, scoring once.

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Meanwhile, he’s not featured in the Blues’ past two games, instead remaining on the bench as he remains on five appearances and no goals for his new side.

Paddy Lane has made five appearances for Pompey following his January transfer deadline-day movePaddy Lane has made five appearances for Pompey following his January transfer deadline-day move
Paddy Lane has made five appearances for Pompey following his January transfer deadline-day move

John Mousinho is unconcerned about the new signing not immediately coming to the fore, though. He sees the 22-year-old as a long-term project who will have a big future at Pompey.

Former Blues loanee Kennedy – now Aberdeen – returns to the international fold after a two-year absence. He spent the 2017-18 season at PO4 from on loan from Cardiff, scoring three goals in 29 League One appearances.

McGeehan earns his recall after having to pull out of his one and only Northern Ireland squad inclusion in 2018 because of injury.

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The midfielder spent the second half of the 2019-20 campaign at Pompey on loan from Barnsley, featuring 14 times.

He’s been plying his trade in Belgium ever since, featuring for KV Oostende, where he’s scored six goals in 50 appearances.

Northern Ireland’s games against San Marino (A) and Finland (H) take place on March 23 and 26 respectively.