McCartney called by Northern Ireland

George McCartney has been named by Northern Ireland in their squad to face Bulgaria in an international friendly in Belfast on 6 February.

The West Ham United left-back has been capped 24 times by his country, with one goal, and has been a regular fixture for his country since Nigel Worthington took charge back in June. McCartney, 26, has not missed a league and cup game for his club this season, with Wednesday night's visit of Liverpool set to be his 29th appearance of the campaign.

Northern Ireland are coming off the back of a strong, although ultimately unsuccessful, EURO 2008 qualifying campaign and have high hopes for the 2010 World Cup. The Northern Irish have been drawn in Group 3 with the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and San Marino, with matches due to begin early next season.