Noel King has announced his Ireland under-21 side for the clash against their Azerbaijan counterparts in Baku next month’s U21 European Championship qualifier.
There are some familiar faces in the squad with regulars Josh Cullen, Harry Charsley and Reece Grego-Cox again called upon along with exciting prospects Declan Rice of West Ham and Connor Ronan of Wolves – both of whom are still eligible for the under 19s and will hope to impress King.
Two League of Ireland players, namely Cork City defender Ryan Delaney (on loan from Burton Albion) and Derry City forward Ronan Curtis, have also been named in the squad.
Overall, it is an impressive side with some very exciting prospects but there are also some notable absentees. Olamide Shodipo who was the match winner against Kosovo misses out through injury. The QPR man has been one of the under-21s key men in recent month but has yet to feature at club level this season.
Jack Byrne, who was the stalwart of the side is also excluded. He has only played a handful of games since returning to England from Holland and was transfer listed by Wigan Athletic.
Conor Shaughnessy who is making a big impression at Leeds, as well as the exciting Trevor Clarke of Shamrock Rovers, are also very unlucky to miss out. Jake Doyle-Hayes of Aston Villa and Jay Molumby of Brighton also miss out despite both making their first team breakthroughs midweek. Both are still only 18 and 17 respectively and are likely to be involved with the under 19s.
Republic of Ireland Under-21 Squad To Face Azerbaijan:
Goalkeepers: Kieran O’Hara (Manchester Utd), Liam Bossin (Nottm Forest)
Defenders: Daniel Kane (Huddersfield), Ryan Sweeney (Stoke City – on-loan at Bristol Rovers), Shaun Donnellan (West Bromwich Albion – on-loan at Walsall), Corey Whelan (Liverpool), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Ryan Delaney (Burton Albion – on-loan at Cork City)
Midfielders: Josh Cullen (West Ham United – on-loan at Bolton Wanderers), Harry Charlsey (Everton), Connor Dimaio (Chesterfield), Ryan Manning (QPR), Liam Kinsella (Walsall), Connor Ronan (Wolves)
Forwards: Reece Greco-Cox (QPR), Ronan Curtis (Derry City), Joe Quigley (Bournemouth – on-loan at Newport County), Jake Mulraney (Inverness CT)
Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we catch up with Sligo Rovers striker Vinny Faherty after that brilliant win at Cork City last weekend, as well as looking back at last weekend’s Premier Divison matches and ahead to this weekend’s FAI Cup action.