SOUTHEND United centre-back Adam Thompson has expressed his joy at being included in the Northern Ireland squad.

The Shrimpers defender has spent the past few days training with Michael O’Neill’s men in Manchester.

And, as was revealed in yesterday’s Echo, Thompson has now made the cut for the final squad for forthcoming fixtures against New Zealand and Azerbaijan.

“I’m absolutely buzzing with the call up,” said Thompson, who was last capped in 2011.

“It’s an absolutely honour to be called up and such a proud moment for me and my family.

“I’ll be doing all I can to make the most of the opportunity.”

Northern Ireland’s friendly with New Zealand takes place at Windsor Park this Friday before the World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan will be played at the Tofig Bahramov Stadium on Saturday June 10.