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Noel King names Ireland u21 squad to face Portugal

15 March 2011 4,396 views No Comment Written by Ronan

For their upcoming friendly with Portugal, Republic of Ireland under-21 boss Noel King has made eight changes from the squad who drew 0-0 in Cyprus last month.

Two new under-21 call-ups are included in the squad: current Coventry City third choice keeper Michael Quirke, as well as former Northern Irish senior international Adam Barton. The selection of Barton will prove controversial, but a lot of the focus on the game will be on Arsenal’s Conor Henderson, who made his first senior appearance under Arsene Wegner earlier this month.

King has named a strong 17 man squad, including free-scoring James Collins and Joe Mason, as well as strong defenders Gavin Gunning and Shane O’Connor, along with Notts County loanee Conor Clifford and the recently returned Sean Scannell in midfield.

Preston North End midfielder Barton was born in England, but was called up by Northern Irish boss Nigel Worthington in September. Fearing that a competitive cap would tie him to Northern Ireland, he pulled out of the squad to face Italy and Brian Kerr’s Faroe Islands, with the IFA stating that he had “decided that he would like to keep his options open with regards to England and also concentrate on his club career at Preston North End”. He was later included in their squad to face Morocco in a November friendly, and played the full 90 minutes. However, his inclusion in King’s squad indicates that his long-term international goals may have been with the Republic of Ireland rather than England or Northern Ireland.

At the announcement, under 21 boss King said “We have made a number of changes to the squad, purely to look at as many of our players as possible ahead of the campaign. While we would like to bring every player into the squad, it is not possible and just because there are a number of key players not included in this group, it does not mean we are not still looking at them.

“Portugal are a talented side and include players such as Manchester United star Bebe, and their recent 3-1 victory over Sweden proves that they will be a big test for us. After the Portugal match, we have one remaining friendly against Austria in August, which means that we will have to take every available opportunity to fine-tune our preparation ahead of the European Championship qualifiers.”

Republic of Ireland Under-21 Squad:
Goalkeepers: Ian McLoughlin (Stockport), Michael Quirke (Coventry),
Defenders: Richie Towell (Hibernian), Shane Duffy (Everton), Gavin Gunning (Motherwell), Shane O’Connor (Ipswich), Rob Kiernan (Wycombe), Damian McCrory (Dagenham & Redbridge)
Midfielders: Adam Barton (Preston), Mark Connolly (Bolton), Conor Henderson (Arsenal), Jamie Devitt (Hull), Sean Scannell (Crystal Palace), Conor Clifford (Notts County)
Forwards: James Collins (Shrewsbury), Joe Mason (Plymouth), Paddy Madden (Carlisle).

Related posts:

  1. Doolin names Ireland u19 squad to face Croatia
  2. James McCarthy and Conor Doyle named in U21 squad
  3. Trapattoni names Ireland squad for Wales game
  4. Trapattoni names Ireland squad for Macedonia and Uruguay
  5. Morling names u17 squad for Italy matches

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