Noel King names Ireland u21 squad to face Denmark and Italy
Republic of Ireland under-21 manager Noel King has named a 20-man-squad for the upcoming friendly against Denmark and European U21 Championship 2013 qualifier with Italy.
King’s youngsters will play Denmark at Tallaght Stadium on Monday May 28th, before taking on Italy at the Showgrounds in Sligo a week later – Monday June 4th.
Ireland u21 captain Rob Kiernan misses out due to an ankle injury, which curtailed his loan spell at Accrington Stanley from Wigan Athletic. King has put Hibernian defender Matt Doherty, Cork City’s Gearoid Morrissey, and St. Patrick’s Athletic winger Chris Forrester on standby, while Aston Villa’s Samir Carruthers and Watford 18-year-old Sean Murray will join the squad after travelling to Portugal with Paul Doolin’s under-19 side.
Torquay United midfielder Eunan O’Kane should make his first appearance for the Republic of Ireland underage side after the Derry-born teen switched allegiance from Northern Ireland in November. O’Kane has four caps for Northern Ireland’s under-21 side, and was disappointed to miss the chance to line out for King’s side last winter against Liechtenstein in qualifying, due to a delay with paperwork for his switch. King had also intended to include New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan O’Meara, but the call-up was blocked by O’Meara’s club manager Hans Backe.
“We’ve assembled a good squad that we will be looking to build on our previous performances,” King told the Irish Examiner. “At this stage of the season some players have not played for a couple of weeks so the Denmark game will be extremely important.
“Italy are a very well-prepared side that recently beat Scotland 4-1 in a warm-up game so everything is geared towards being prepared for that fixture.”
Republic of Ireland under-21 Squad:
Ian McLoughlin (Milton Keynes Dons), Aaron McCarey (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Mark Connolly (Unattached, formerly Bolton), Shane Duffy (Everton), Greg Cunningham (Manchester City), Niall Canavan (Scunthorpe United), Lanre Oyebanjo (York City), John Egan (Sunderland)
Jeff Hendrick (Derby County), Eunan O’Kane (Torquay United), Richie Towell (Celtic/Hibernian), Aidan White (Leeds United), Conor Clifford (Chelsea), Samir Carruthers (Aston Villa), Conor Hourihane (Plymouth Argyle), Sean Murray (Watford)
James Collins (Shrewsbury Town), Rhys Murphy (Arsenal), Aaron Doran (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Robbie Brady (Manchester United/Hull City)