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Stephen Kenny explains why Gavin Kilkenny did not receive a senior call-up this month

Stephen Kenny Gavin Kilkenny

Stephen Kenny has offered his take on why Gavin Kilkenny did not receive a senior call-up.

Ireland boss Stephen Kenny has explained that Gavin Kilkenny’s need for a run of games has contributed to him not being called up to his squad for the upcoming internationals this month.

Ireland take on Portugal and Luxembourg to finish off their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign, but they will do it without the in-form Kilkenny.

Kilkenny has impressed at club level for Bournemouth in the Championship in recent weeks, but Kenny has opted to let him stay with Jim Crawford’s Ireland Under-21s.

Stephen Kenny on Gavin Kilkenny.

“I know Gavin, he played for me when I was with the 21s, and he’s having a very good season,” Kenny said during his press conference.

“Our midfield area is very strong at the moment with Alan Browne coming back in. He played well for Preston last night against Bournemouth, and Jayson Molumby is coming back in.

Gavin Kilkenny Kenny

“So, there’s a lot of competition in that area. Jack Taylor hasn’t made it, and he has been really good for Peterborough this year as well. Gavin is a player where the Under-21 games will be great for him and he will certainly have every chance in making a squad in the future.”

Stephen Kenny.

Heading into this international break with questions still lingering over his future as Ireland boss – Kenny has a daunting task at home to Portugal up first.

While Cristiano Ronaldo will take much of the attention, the former Dundalk boss has explained he sees talent all over the Portuguese squad.

“He’s terrific and has been a phenomenon with his sheer volume of goals,” Kenny added. “It is simply incredible. Even when he wasn’t playing they still won 5-0.

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“They have players right around their squad. Renato Sanches and Joao Felix have come back in – so they have a lot of other players who are also European champions.

“They have a very talented team. It’s a game that we are very excited for and we’ll make sure it’s one that we’re ready for.”

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