Pools' Liam Donnelly sets sights on Northern Ireland under-21 cap record

Liam Donnelly talks to Hartlepool United fans.
Liam Donnelly talks to Hartlepool United fans.

Hartlepool United defender Liam Donnelly has his sights set on breaking an international record.

The defender is just three caps short of drawing level with former Liverpool youngster Sean Friars, who won 21 caps between 1998 and 2001, who hold the record for the most caps won for Northern Ireland at under-21 level.

And having been called up for his country's European Championship qualifiers against Spain and Iceland, on March 22 and 26 respectively, Donnelly is hopeful that he will edge closer to his former Dungannon Swifts teammate's record.

"It would be a good achievement and something to have on the CV," said Donnelly, in an interview with the club website.

"It would make it even better because I know Sean – I played in the same team as him for a little while at Dungannon Swifts and I think he would be happy for me taking the record.

"There's still a lot of football to be played though – if it happens it would be nice but I am just concentrating on playing the games.

Liam Donnelly in action against Boreham Wood at the weekend.

Liam Donnelly in action against Boreham Wood at the weekend.

"I think Spain will be the toughest test we have but Iceland are a good team as well so these are the games you measure yourself in and hopefully we can get two positive results and look towards qualification."

Donnelly will miss the club's trip to Barrow next Wednesday, a game set to be live on BT Sports.

Whether he missed two games is dependent on this evening's clash between Spennymoor Town and Bromley in the FA Trophy.

Should Bromley win then Pools game with the Ravens on Saturday, March 24, will be postponed.

Either way Donnelly will return to the fold for the visit to Maidstone on Good Friday.