Morecambe’s international players return to the club after valuable time away with their national sides- adding to their growing experience on the worldwide stage.
After 10 days of travelling, training and competitive action, it’s a return to the northwest where preparations now begin for a return to league action that sees 4 games in 12 days.
So let’s look at how our international players fared whilst representing their countries.
Joining up with Scott Gemmill’s Scotland Under 21 side was always going to a mouth-watering prospect for The Shrimps striker.
With two home Euro U21 qualifiers back-to-back at Motherwell’s Fir Park it was a chance for the Scottish side to put a stamp on their group and they would go on to take six points from the two encounters.
On Friday night, under the watchful eye of Scotland National Team manager Steve Clarke and his assistant John Carver, the young Scots ran to a 3-1 win over Hungary’s U21 side. Michael replaced Liverpool’s Ben Doak on 62 minutes and made a strong impression on those in attendance.
This was followed by another substitute appearance on Tuesday night as again Mellon came on to the field after the hour to play his part in a 2-1 win over Malta. Mellon narrowly missing the chance to score his first as a ball was flashed across the box.
Jacob faced a challenging double header with Grenada as they failed to collect points from matches with Jamaica and Suriname.
In their first outing the game was in the balance as Grenada only trailed 2-1 with 15 minutes to go against Jamaica but strikes from Demarai Gray & Bobby De Cordova-Reid sealed a 4-1 win for the visitors.
A disastrous first half in Suriname killed any hope Grenada had of getting a result against their CONCACAF opponents as they found themselves 4-0 down at the break. A very clinical Suriname side rushed into a strong advantage before Jacob fired into his own net just before half time to kill the game.
Although a tough double header for our centre-back, it will very much be viewed as two more very valuable experiences for Jacob as he adds another two caps to his international record.
It was certainly a tale of two matches for the Northern Ireland Under 21’s during this international break.
A solid 1-0 win away in Azerbaijan was to be lauded by the Northern Ireland faithful as the it was also their first 3 points of the group stage. Ciaran McGuckin’s 19th minute strike sealed the points with JJ playing the 87 minutes before being taken off.
It was a very different story just days later when they hosted Serbia U21’s at Mourneview Park. With the Serbs taking the lead after just 15 minutes, Tommy Wright’s young Northern Ireland side had to react, and they did when they drew level just after half time from the penalty spot. There would however be late heartbreak as Milos Pantovic notched on the 82nd minute to take all three points.
With JJ playing 87 minutes against Azerbaijan and the full 90 against Serbia it was another fantastic developmental opportunity for the young Northern Irishman and momentum he will want to keep building on as he returns to Derek Adams side.
Eli King did not feature for the Wales Under 21 side due to injury and Adam Mayor remained ‘on standby’ for both England Under 20 & Under 21 sides.