Republic of Ireland U21 manager Jim Crawford has named his 22-man squad ahead of the crucial European Championship qualifier against Italy.
Southampton striker Michael Obafemi is again named with Ireland U21s after missing out on the senior squad, alongside his Saints teammates Will Smallbone, Will Ferry and Thomas O’Connor.
Smallbone and Ferry join Sligo Rovers goalkeeper Ed McGinty and Carlisle striker Joshua Kayode as the four uncapped players in the squad.
Crawford’s men take on Italy in a crucial game in the group in Pisa on October 13th. Ireland currently sit top of their group with Italy in second, three points behind with a game in hand.
They previously drew 0-0 with Italy in Tallaght Stadium in 2019.
“We know the challenge that awaits us in Pisa”, Under-21 Manager Jim Crawford told FAI TV. “Italy are top seeds in the group and we expect this to be the toughest game we have played so far.”
“Our squad is very experienced, and includes senior internationals like Lee and Michael. The squad worked hard in last month’s Training Camp and I look forward to getting the group together next week before we travel to Italy.”
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) October 2, 2020
Republic of Ireland Under-21 Squad
Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Rochdale, on loan from Manchester City), Ed McGinty (Sligo Rovers)
Defenders: Nathan Collins (Stoke City), Darragh Leahy (Dundalk), Conor Masterson (Queens Park Rangers), Danny McNamara (St Johnstone, on loan from Millwall), Lee O’Connor (Tranmere Rovers, on loan from Celtic), Thomas O’Connor (Southampton), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Liam Scales (Shamrock Rovers)
Midfielders: Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Will Ferry (Southampton), Jason Knight (Derby County), Daniel Mandroiu (Bohemians), Connor Ronan (Grasshopper Zurich, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Will Smallbone (Southampton), Jack Taylor (Peterborough United)
Attackers: Jonathan Afolabi (Dundee, on loan from Celtic), Zach Elbouzedi (Lincoln City), Neil Farrugia (Shamrock Rovers), Joshua Kayode (Carlisle United, on loan from Rotherham United), Michael Obafemi (Southampton)