Promising Bolton midfielder earns a call-up
Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has named a 27-man squad for next month's Euro 2020 qualifiers with Denmark and Gibraltar.
There's a first call-up for Bolton Wanderers midfielder Luca Connell. The Liverpool-born 18-year old has caught McCarthy's eye in the season just ended, lining out a dozen times for the relegated Championship side.
The squad are to travel for a training camp in Faro tomorrow before the Group D games against the Danes in Copenhagen on June 7th and the visit of Gibraltar to the Aviva three-days later. 23 of the 27 will travel to Portugal, with the balance involved in the EFL Playoffs.
CONFIRMED | Mick McCarthy finalises squad for #EURO2020 qualifiers away to 🇩🇰 & home to 🇬🇮#IRLU19 youngster Luca Connell earns first senior call-up
Read More ➡️ https://t.co/ewv9xnw8th #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/XdOxgs5v1O
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) May 20, 2019
McCarthy says Connell deserves his opportunity, "With midfielders Conor Hourihane, Glenn Whelan and Josh Cullen all on play-off duty with their clubs in the coming weeks, this is the perfect chance to get Luca into the squad.
"He has had a fine season with Bolton playing 15 times in total and even with their relegation troubles, he has impressed so many people. I know a number of big clubs have sent scouts to watch him so this is a chance to get him in to work with the senior players and see how he gets on."
While Connell gets the nod, Harry Arter and Jack Byrne miss out. Meanwhile, Luton striker James Collins and Millwall's Aiden O'Brien are trimmed from the provisional squad named by McCarthy earlier this month.
Ireland sit top of Euro qualifying Group D on 6-points following wins over Gibraltar and Georgia.
Republic of Ireland squad:
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Mark Travers (Bournemouth), Sean McDermott (Kristiansund BK)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), John Egan (Sheffield United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Greg Cunningham (Cardiff City)
Midfielders: Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Luca Connell (Bolton Wanderers), Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic*), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth)
Forwards: David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), Shane Long (Southampton), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Callum Robinson (Preston North End)