Republic of Ireland Under-21 Manager Jim Crawford has named a 24-man squad for the upcoming UEFA Under-21 European Championship Qualifiers, at home to Iceland and away to Luxembourg.
A single point separates the top four teams in Group 1, with Crawford’s side currently sitting in second place, behind Italy only on goal difference. Their last time out the young side were unfortunately defeated by Italy by two goals.
Kilkenny man Tom O’Connor, who is on loan at Gillingham from Southampton, once again earns a call. Ireland Under-19 international Mark McGuinness is called up for the first time, and joins the uncapped group of Ed McGinty, Luca Connell, Anthony Scully and Joshua Kayode..
“It’s a massive two games”, Jim Crawford told FAI.ie. “A top two finish is still within our hands in this group, and that’s a brilliant position to be in, going into these matches.”
“We’ll miss the lack of fans in Tallaght Stadium for the Iceland game, but we hope to put on a show for the fans in both games, and qualify for the European Championships.”
Republic of Ireland Under-21 Squad
Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Rochdale, on loan from Manchester City), Ed McGinty (Sligo Rovers)
Defenders: Nathan Collins (Stoke City), Darragh Leahy (Dundalk), Conor Masterson (Queens Park Rangers), Mark McGuinness (Ipswich Town, on loan from Arsenal), Danny McNamara (St Johnstone, on loan from Millwall), Lee O’Connor (Tranmere Rovers, on loan from Celtic), Thomas O’Connor (Gillingham, on loan from Southampton), Liam Scales (Shamrock Rovers)
Midfielders: Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Luca Connell (Celtic), Will Ferry (Southampton), Jason Knight (Derby County), Danny Mandroiu (Bohemians), Connor Ronan (Grasshopper Zurich, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Anthony Scully (Lincoln City), Jack Taylor (Peterborough United)
Attackers: Jonathan Afolabi (Dundee, on loan from Celtic), Zack Elbouzedi (Lincoln City), Danny Grant (Bohemians), Joshua Kayode (Carlisle United, on loan from Rotherham United), Michael Obafemi (Southampton), Troy Parrott (Millwall, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
UEFA Under-21 European Championship Qualifier – Group 1
15/11 – Republic of Ireland v Iceland, Tallaght Stadium, 12.30pm
18/11 – Luxembourg v Republic of Ireland, Beggen, 4.30pm