Northern Ireland keen on England opener

England have been lined up to be the first visitors to the new Windsor Park when Northern Ireland swing the doors open in 2012.

A new 20,000 all-seater stadium is planned, providing government investment can be secured.

And the Football Association have already been approached about a friendly, which would be England’s first visit to Belfast since they were beaten by a solitary David Healy goal in 2005.

“Negotiations are at an advanced level with the Football Association to bring England to Windsor Park, perhaps in 2012,” IFA president Raymond Kennedy told the Belfast Telegraph.

“I am personally very hopeful that a deal can be agreed but it is not tied up yet.

“There could be no better team to help us unveil a new Windsor Park with a 20,000 seating capacity.

“England would be a game of massive interest to the fans and, while it is not in the bag yet, we are closing in on an agreement.

“A business case has not been completed yet for Windsor Park but those talks are ongoing and we will hopefully meet the Football Association again in the middle of next month.”

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