Stephen Kenny has outlined that Inter Milan defender Ryan Nolan is on the standby list for his 23-man squad to face Luxembourg at the end of the month.
The promising centre-half was a surprise omission in Kenny’s squad which was announced on Thursday, given how highly he is rated at the Italian giants.
Nolan is the captain of Inter’s U19s side and was recently involved in their first team squad, making the bench for their recent Europa League last 32 clash with Rapid Vienna.
During his first squad announcement on Wednesday, Kenny was quizzed on the 20-year old’s omission and outlined that Nolan was on his standby list.
“He is on standby for this team at the moment,” said Kenny. “Ryan is on standby and is obviously a talented defender.
“He has been in with the U18s previously and I think he is a traditional ‘number 5′, if you like. He is a very, very good defender.”
Kenny went on to explain that he had chosen Exeter City’s West Brom loanee Dara O’Shea, who has a very similar style to Nolan, for the game against Luxembourg.
O’Shea is currently having an excellent season playing regular football with Exeter City in League Two and had previously captained Ireland at U19 level.
“He has played nearly 30 games for Exeter in League Two and has excelled in League Two. West Brom are very happy with him and he seems to have a future there. Ryan is on standby for this squad.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean that one player has done better than others.
“Maybe it’s that a certain position has greater opportunities sometimes and it’s about the blend and balance in the squad, which is very important.
The ex-Dundalk boss also outlined that the sheer amount of games this year, 11 in total, will see a lot of players get their opportunity in the green jersey.
“There are a lot of players that did well in that camp that are not in this squad. I think that’s the nature of it. There are 11 games with the U21 squad this year, which is unprecedented.
“Minimum 11 games, so anyone that wasn’t selected for this squad, we will certainly be monitoring their progress with a view to being involved in the U21 tournament in Toulon in June and the six subsequent qualifiers after that.
“So this is a squad in mind for the first qualifier against Luxembourg, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a lot of flexibility to change over the year, because I’m sure there will be changes based on form and availability.”