Some new faces.
Stephen Kenny has called up Sean Maguire and Daryl Horgan to the Republic of Ireland squad ahead of his side’s UEFA Nations League games against Wales and Finland.
Ireland’s dreams of playing in EURO 2020 were dashed on Thursday night as they lost their playoff with Slovakia on penalties.
Ireland were the better side and will rue a number of great chances they failed to put into the back of the net before penalties separated the two teams.
Ireland fans will be optimistic about the future, however, as Kenny’s side played a much-improved brand of football with their scoring opportunities coming from good build-up play rather than set-pieces.
The performance was all the more impressive as Kenny was without Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah. Connolly was expected to start on the left of the front three but the two players were ruled out because they were considered close contacts with a non-football member of the travelling party that tested positive for COVID-19.
With Connolly and Idah unavailable for the clash against Wales, Kenny has opted to bring in Maguire and Horgan.
Maguire’s last appearance for Ireland came in a draw with Denmark at the Aviva Stadium last November while Horgan’s most recent appearance for the Boys In Green was against Poland in September 2018.
Horgan, of course, is an old favourite of Kenny’s with the 28-year-old playing a key role for Dundalk during the Ireland manager’s time in charge of the Lilywhites.
Republic of Ireland squad
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (Bournemouth).
Defenders: Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Shane Duffy (Celtic, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion), John Egan (Sheffield United), Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers), Kevin Long (Burnley), Cyrus Christie (Nottingham Forest, on loan from Fulham).
Midfielders: Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), James McCarthy (Crystal Palace), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jayson Molumby (Brighton & Hove Albion), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht).
Forwards: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Shane Long (Southampton)