Joel jets off to join NI squad in France

Glenavon's Joel Cooper

training with the NI squad ahead of the game against Belarus and now he is off to France.
Glenavon's Joel Cooper training with the NI squad ahead of the game against Belarus and now he is off to France.

Joel Cooper flies off to France on Monday to join the Northern Ireland squad as they prepare for their opening game against Poland at the Euros.

The Glenavon striker got a call from manager Michael O’Neill on Saturday morning asking him to come over to join in the training sessions.

If anyone had told Joel this time last year that he would sign for Glenavon, win two major player of the year awards and an Irish Cup medal along with joining the Northern Ireland squad he would not have believed any of it.

However, his remarkable rapid rise in local football has put the Ballyclare man into the football spotlight.

“It’s a bit scary,” admitted Joel. “I got the call on Saturday morning asking me if I would like to join the squad and take part in the training sessions.

“I can’t really believe it. It’s a fantastic opportunity and I am really looking forward to it.”