|Nickname(s)||Green & White Army, |
|Association||Irish Football Association|
|Most caps||5 Pat McGibbon (1995-1999)|
|Top scorer||3 Derek Dougan (1957-1959)|
|Home stadium||Windsor Park / Mourneview Park / Coleraine Showgrounds|
|Northern Ireland 6-0, Romania B October 23, 1957|
|Northern Ireland 6-0, Romania B October 23, 1957|
|France B 5-0 Northern Ireland, March 16, 1960|
The Northern Ireland national football B team is a secondary football team run occasionally as support for the Northern Ireland national football team. Primarily seen as a stepping-stone between the under-21 and full international teams, B team matches are also used to give a run-out for fringe players and to honour Irish League players who would not otherwise gain international recognition.
Matches are rarely played by Northern Ireland at this level due to their limited player pool, necessitating rapid elevation of young players to the 'Full' squad. Matches have been played against other football associations' 'B' teams and against various national "selects".
The Northern Ireland 'B' team made its first appearance in 1957, playing against Romania 'B' who were not deemed worthy of a 'Full' international (note: Romania was commonly referred to as Rumania in the English language up until the 1980s). The occasion of October 23, 1957 marked the first use of the Windsor Park floodlights for an international fixture. A one sided match finished 6-0 with a hat-trick from Derek Dougan and further goals from Sammy McCrory, Sammy Chapman and Jackie Scott.
The match against Rumania was followed up with two matches against France B in 1959 and 1960 before Under-23 international matches became de rigueur in the 1960s. The 'B' format re-emerged in the 1990s as national teams focussed on Under-21 rather than Under-23 matches and thus a "stepping stone" from Under-21 to 'Full' was required.
Northern Ireland's most recent match at 'B' level was against Scotland B in May 2009.
|23 October 1957||Romania B||6-0||Windsor Park, Belfast||Sammy McCrory, Sammy Chapman, Derek Dougan 3, Jackie Scott|
|11 November 1959||France B||1-1||Windsor Park, Belfast||Hugh Barr|
|16 March 1960||France B||0-5||Stade du Coteau, Annecy|
|10 May 1994||England B||2-4||Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield||George O'Boyle, James Quinn|
|21 February 1995||Scotland B||0-3||Easter Road, Edinburgh|
|26 March 1996||Norway Olympic football team||3-0||The Showgrounds, Coleraine||Darren Patterson, James Quinn, Phil Mulryne|
|28 March 1997||Portugal under-21||2-0||Mourneview Park, Lurgan||Danny Sonner, Steve Robinson|
|11 February 1998||Republic of Ireland B||1-0||Tolka Park, Dublin||George O'Boyle|
|9 February 1999||Wales B||0-1||The Racecourse Ground, Wrexham|
|20 May 2003||Scotland Future||1-2||Firhill Stadium, Glasgow||Steve Jones|
|6 May 2009||Scotland B||0-3||Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld|
(vs. Scotland B, May 6, 2009)
(Record: Played Won-Drawn-Lost)
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