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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Four LOI stars make King's U21 squad

Jamie McGrath (right). Pic: Sportsfile
Jamie McGrath (right). Pic: Sportsfile

Manchester United prospect Kieran O'Hara is in line for his first-ever appearance in an Ireland jersey this week as he's been called up to the U21 squad for two friendly games.

And there's also recognition for home-based talents as the League of Ireland quartet of Jamie McGrath (St Pat's), Sean Heaney (Shamrock Rovers), Ronan Curtis (Derry City) and Ciaran O'Connor (Dundalk have also got the nod).

The Republic's U21s have a long wait for their next competitive game so two friendly matches, against the Czech Republic and Slovakia will be played, in Spain, on Saturday and Tuesday.

Old Trafford lad O'Hara, who qualifies through the parentage rule, was named in an U21 squad for a game with Serbia in September but missed out due to injury but he's included this time, competing with Anderlecht's Liam Bossin for the goalkeeping position.

"We have always had a strong representation of SSE Airtricity League players in the Under 21 squad with Kevin O'Connor and Sean Maguire, who both helped Cork City win the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup last weekend, in our most recent squad," said King.

"There has been a steady flow of League players in our squads, which shows that the League is producing players and that they are there on merit. It is when they come into the squad whether they can step up to international football. That is why we include them."

"We will know a lot more about these players after the two games and that is what this is all about. But I think we are more advanced at this stage in building the base of our squad and that gives us hope for the coming campaign."

Ireland Under-21 Squad

Goalkeepers: Liam Bossin (Anderlecht), Kieran O'Hara (Manchester Utd). Defenders: Noe Baba (Birmingham City), Danny Kane (Huddersfield Town), Ryan Sweeney (Stoke City), Sean Heaney (Shamrock Rvs), Declan Rice (West Ham), Corey Whelan (Liverpool), Shaun Donnellan (West Brom), Dylan Barnett (Brighton ). Midfielders: Josh Cullen (Bradford City*), Jack Byrne (Blackburn Rovers*), Ronan Curtis (Derry City), Dylan Watts (Leicester City), Connor Dimaio (Chesterfield), Liam Kinsella (Walsall), Jamie McGrath (St Patrick's Athletic), Harry Charsley (Everton). Forwards: Tyrone Duffus (Everton), Olamide Shodipo (QPR), Ciaran O'Connor (Dundalk), Jake Mulraney (Inverness CT). *Indicates player is currently on loan

Fixtures

Saturday, November 12: Ireland v Czech Republic, KO 5.30.

Tuesday, November 15: Ireland v Slovakia, KO 1.0.

p St Patrick's Athletic will be looking to complete the U17 double when they face Bohemians in the final of the Mark Farren Memorial Cup this evening.

The final will be played at Richmond Park, Inchicore (kick-off 7.30pm) in what should be an enthralling Dublin derby and the final game of the 2016 underage League of Ireland calendar.

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