Cooper back for double header

Joel Cooper during the Northern Ireland training session in St Georges de Reneins, France ahead of the game against Poland.

Joel Cooper during the Northern Ireland training session in St Georges de Reneins, France ahead of the game against Poland.

Joel Cooper is back from France to play in Glenavon’s double header this weekend.

The 20-year-old has been training with the Northern Ireland squad at their base in Lyon after getting a surprise invite from team boss Michael O’Neill.

Derry City are up first on Friday night at Mourneview Park, 7.30pm, with Llandudno on Saturday with a 12.00 noon start.

Manager Gary Hamilton is delighted to have secured two top sides to help his team in their build-up for the Europa League ties.

“Derry City have made a good start to their season and it will be a huge test for us on Friday night, but it is just the type of game we need at this stage of our preparations. We have been back training now for over a week and had our first match on Saturday in Dublin.

“We brought a squad of 22 and it was an excellent work out,” added the manager.

“This will be two excellent games for us, we might be beaten, perhaps well beaten, but I’m not concerned about results at this stage.

“We only have a couple of players still on holiday so it means most of the squad will get 90 minutes.”

Llandudno are set to make their debut in European competition.

They are a club very much in the ascendancy, finishing third in the Welsh Premier League after winning promotion the season before.

They began their pre-season on Tuesday night against Bale Town.

Admission for each game is £5 for adults, £3 concession and primary school children are free.

Fans please note the noon start on Saturday.