Home Football Mick McCarthy Confirms Troy Parrott, Lee O’Connor & Jack Byrne Will Start For Ireland

Mick McCarthy Confirms Troy Parrott, Lee O’Connor & Jack Byrne Will Start For Ireland

Mick McCarthy has confirmed that Troy Parrott, Lee O’Connor and Jack Byrne will start for the Republic of Ireland on Thursday night.

Ireland play New Zealand in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium and three of the country’s most promising young players will start the game.

Parrott, at 17, will become the youngest player to feature for Ireland since Robbie Keane, who made his international debut at the same age.

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The Tottenham Hotspur forward has only made one senior appearance so far in his career, in an EFL Cup tie against Colchester United, but has excelled at underage levels.

In his last game for Spurs’ Under-23 team, against Red Star Belgrade, Parrott scored four times.

“Troy is a bright intelligent, footballer,” McCarthy said at a press conference in Wednesday morning.

“They get caught between the Under-23s and the seniors. He got four goals in his last game against Red Star.”

McCarthy said the forward was working closely with Keane, who is now a coach with the Ireland team.

“He was working with him yesterday and he’s one of the best Robbie, his movement to get himself chances. You can help him in terms of finishing, giving him tips until you see he’s fantastic at that.”

“It’s just the all-round play of the striker Robbie has been one of the best and if he can’t learn from him, he’s not going to learn from anybody.”

While the Ireland boss was reluctant to predict how good Parrott can become, he did admit that he was impressed with what he has seen from the forward in training.

“I don’t think I’ve seen the full potential just yet in the couple of training sessions we’ve just had, but there are little things. We did something yesterday where the ball came into him, he turned and got his shot off and it was terrific. You can just see from that one little moment.”

Parrott will make his Ireland debut alongside fellow Dubliner Jack Byrne, who is set to make his first start for his country. Byrne set up in two goals in a substitute appearance against Bulgaria in September.

The midfielder has had a tremendous year in Irish football, where he helped Shamrock Rovers win the FAI Cup and won the PFA Player of the Year award.

Waterford native Lee O’Connor will also make his debut in the game.

The 19-year-old Celtic right-back, who joined the Scottish club from Manchester United, has impressed for Stephen Kenny’s Under-21 team and will get his chance for the senior team against the All Whites.

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