Aaron Connolly has been called up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad.
On Tuesday, Mick McCarthy said that Connolly was behind James Collins, David McGoldrick, James McClean, Callum Robinson and Sean Maguire in the pecking order for the national team. He also said the upcoming qualifiers against Georgia and Switzerland were not games for debutants.
However, Connolly scored twice in Brighton’s 3-0 win on Saturday, putting Tottenham to the sword in an impressive first start in the Premier League.
McCarthy has reacted to this by promoting the player to the senior squad. Just a few days ago, he seemingly felt the 19-year-old wasn’t up to the task of playing for the senior side yet.
But, on Saturday evening, the FAI confirmed that Connolly would be part of McCarthy’s squad, and has been promoted from Stephen Kenny’s Under-21 side, who play Italy in Tallaght in their own qualifier on Thursday.
Connolly takes the place of Portsmouth forward Ronan Curtis, who has picked up a hamstring injury. Derrick Williams has also been called up after his Blackburn team-mates Greg Cunningham and Darragh Lenihan suffered knee injuries on Saturday.
“Aaron and Derrick will join up with the squad on Sunday after injuries to Ronan, Greg and Darragh,” McCarthy told the FAI’s website.
“I have spoken to Aaron and Derrick and they are looking forward to meeting up with us. Aaron enjoyed his full debut for Brighton and we have been keeping a close eye on his progress this season.
“Derrick was in the extended 41-man squad for these games and playing regularly for Blackburn so this is his chance now.”
The Ireland squad meet up on Sunday in Dublin. They play Georgia away next Saturday and Switzerland away three days later.
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