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Shea Charles: Man City teenager hungry for more caps after making Northern Ireland debut

Shea Charles
Charles said he learned a lot from veteran players like captain Steven Davis

Manchester City teenager Shea Charles wants many more caps for Northern Ireland after making his international debut against Greece.

The 18-year-old came on as a substitute in the 79th minute of the 1-0 defeat by Greece in the opening game of the Nations League.

Charles, who replaces George Saville in midfield but can also play as a centre-back, has known what he will do with his shirt since his debut on Thursday.

“I’ll frame my shirt and put it in my room,” he said.

“I hope I can just keep going from here and get more caps. It was a great feeling to make my debut.

“Of course, the defeat is a low, but also a big high. The coach just told me to go ahead and do my thing, really in a defensive midfield role.

“I’ve been to Windsor Park before to watch a game but obviously this was my first time playing here and the fans were amazing.

“I didn’t expect to play in this game but I’ll take any chance I get.”

Manchester-born Charles has played for Northern Ireland at Under-19 and Under-21 level and trained with City’s first-team, although he has yet to feature under Pep Guardiola.

He has enjoyed working closely with internationals like Spain’s Rodri and Brazil’s Fernandinho but is unsure about going on loan next season.

“We’ll see what happens next year but we’ll see how training goes. I’ll just take every game as it comes,” he added.

“If we train with him [City] First Team the standard is so high and we learn every day.

“With players like Rodri and Fernandinho it’s tough but fun. You learn a lot from the whole team and of course from the coaches.”

Northern Ireland have three more Nations League games to play over the next eight days, starting with the trip to Cyprus on Sunday, before Kosovo away on Thursday and Cyprus at home on June 12.

Although disappointed by Thursday night’s loss to Greece, Charles is enjoying his first taste of international senior football.

“Things have been going well so far. It’s always good to look up to Steven Davis and Jonny Evans on and off the pitch, how professional they are in and around the hotel,” he said.

“We can ask that [defeat] behind us now, although of course we will not forget it. We will learn things from the game and incorporate them into our next game.

“We didn’t give them too many chances but we shouldn’t have allowed them to take the one chance they had.”

Baraclough praises his “smooth and unexcited” debut

Charles came off the bench eleven minutes from time at Windsor Park but manager Ian Baraclough saw enough to be satisfied.

“I don’t want to put a lot of pressure on the young lad,” he said.

“He was once in the U21s. He probably wasn’t expecting to make his debut as we follow the game.

“He didn’t look nervous, he didn’t look rushed in his decision making. He’s smooth, a loveable player on the ball.

“I think he first experienced it when he put it on his chest and the guy flicked it in and took it away. That was his initiation and it revitalized him. I think he can be happy with what he has done.”

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