Republic of Ireland Manager Stephen Kenny has announced a 25 player squad for the upcoming friendly internationals against Belgium and Lithuania. Injury had already ruled out James Collins, Adam Idah, Andrew Omobamidele, Callum O’Dowda and Enda Stevens while Cyrus Christie, Aaron Connolly, Daryl Horgan, Jamie McGrath and Michael Obafemi have not been selected in this squad.
The omission of Obafemi will be a talking point given he has recently found some goal scoring form for Swansea City but his refusal to accept a call up to the U21 squad earlier this week, citing his interest in the senior side only, has backfired and rightly so. When you are invited to represent your country at any level there is no decision to be made. Later in the day, manager Stephen Kenny advised that Obafemi was never under consideration for the seniors or the U21s because of concerns relating to his hamstrings. Hmmmm.
The two newcomers to the squad, Connor Ronan and Mark Sykes, have both been in fine form with their clubs and are excellent technical players.
Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Portsmouth on loan from Manchester City), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Nathan Collins (Burnley, Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), John Egan (Sheffield United), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers), Ryan Manning (Swansea City), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion)
Midfielders: Alan Browne (Preston North End), Josh Cullen (RSC Anderlecht), Jeff Hendrick (QPR on loan from Newcastle United), Conor Hourihane (Sheffield United on loan from Aston Villa), Jason Knight (Derby County), Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion), Connor Ronan (St Mirren on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Mark Sykes (Oxford United)
Forwards: Scott Hogan (Birmingham City), Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Chiedoze Ogbene (Rotherham United), Troy Parrott (MK Dons on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion)
Under 21 Head Coach Jim Crawford has named a 21 man squad for the UEFA U21 European Championship qualifier against Sweden in Boras on Tuesday the 29th March at 5pm. The match will be shown live on RTE 2.
Goalkeepers: Brian Maher (Derry City), Luke McNicholas (Cliftonville on loan from Sligo Rovers), David Odumosu (St Patrick’s Athletic)
Defenders: Joel Bagan (Cardiff City), Eiran Cashin (Derby County), Andy Lyons (Shamrock rovers), Mark McGuinness (Cardiff City), Jake O’Brien (Swindon Town on loan from Crystal Palace), Lee O’Connor (Tranmere Rovers)
Midfielders: Conor Coventry (MK Dons on loan from West Ham United), Dawson Devoy (Bohemian), Gavin Kilkenny (AFC Bournemouth), Will Smallbone (Southampton), Ross Tierney (Motherwell)
Forwards: Festy Ebosele (Derby county), Evan Ferguson (Brighton & Hove Albion), Joshua Kayode (Rotherham United), Mipo Odubeko (Doncaster Rovers on loan from West Ham United), Ollie O’Neill (Fulham), Colm Whelan (UCD), Tyreik Wright (Colchester United on loan from Aston Villa)