James McCarthy and Conor Doyle named in U21 squad
Republic of Ireland under-21 manager Noel King today named his 19 man squad to face Cyprus on Wednesday, 9th of February.
The away friendly match has allowed King to call some new players into the squad, including previously uncapped Texan-born Derby midfielder Conor Doyle. Doyle played for Dallas Texans and Creighton Bluejays in his home country before moving to England in August. He has played 10 games for the Rams, and qualifies for Ireland through his Dublin born dad, who was a key player during the 1990s in the Major Indoor Soccer League.
However, more significantly is the inclusion of Wigan midfielder James McCarthy, who returned from a three month injury to score against Aston Villa on Tuesday night. Giovanni Trapattoni had left the player out of the senior squad due to fitness worries, but his 85 minute display this week guarantees him a call-up for King’s under-21s.
Two players who play in Cyprus have also made the squad, partly thanks to their familiarity of the local league and the opposition players. They are former Liverpool Academy midfielder Mikey Collins of Cypriot Second Division side APEP FC and former Notts Forest youth midfielder Robbie Gibbons who now plays for Alki Larnaca in the Cypriot Championship First Division.
The squad also includes a first call-up for Bury goalkeeper Ritchie Branagan, the son of former Irish international keeper Keith. King also named 10 standby players in case of injury.
“”This friendly against Cyprus is a great opportunity to finally get the squad together,” King told reporters. “I am looking forward to seeing them play as a team after watching them individually over the last number of months. While the draw for the upcoming UEFA Championship takes place on February 3, there is a possibility that we could be playing two qualifiers in March and that is why this friendly in Cyprus could be so important.”
The match takes place at 12.30 Irish time on Wednesday, February 9th at the GSZ Stadium in Larnaca.
Ritchie Branagan – Bury FC
Ian McLoughlin – Ipswich Town FC
Gavin Gunning – Blackburn Rovers FC
Shane Duffy – Everton FC
Rob Kiernan – Watford FC
Mark Connolly – Bolton Wanderers FC
Richie Towell – Hibernian FC (on loan from Celtic FC)
Johnny Dunleavy – Barnet FC (on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers FC)
Shane O’Connor – Ipswich Town FC
James McCarthy – Wigan Athletic FC
Conor Clifford – Chelsea FC
Conor Hourihane – Ipswich Town FC
Aaron Doran – Inverness CT FC (on loan from Blackburn Rovers FC)
Jamie Devitt – Hull City FC
Conor Doyle – Derby County FC
Robbie Brady – Manchester United FC
James Collins – Shrewsbury Town FC
Michael Collins – APEP FC
Robbie Gibbons – Alki Larnaca FC
Lanre Oyebanjo – Histon FC
Damien McCrory – Dagenham & Redbridge FC
Enda Stevens – Shamrock Rovers FC
Daniel Kearns – Dundalk FC
Gearoid Morrissey – Cork City FC
Jeff Hendrick – Derby County FC
Ronan Murray – Ipswich Town FC
Sean Scannell – Crystal Palace FC
Joe Mason – Plymouth Argyle FC
Paddy Madden – Bohemian FC