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Wednesday 28 September 2016

King rues Quigley blow

Bournemouth forward Joe Quigley
Bournemouth forward Joe Quigley

Ireland U21 team boss Noel King has expressed his disappointment after new a new recruit to the Irish fold, highly-rated Bournemouth forward Joe Quigley, suffered a season-ending injury before he could make his debut in the green jersey.

The 19-year-old had been making an impression this season after joining League One side Gillingham from the Cherries on a six-month loan deal, but he suffered a cruciate injury while in action for Gillingham last week and has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

"It's a pity as we had been looking forward to working with Joe, we have had very good reports about him, but he's out now," says manager King.

Quigley, who qualifies for Ireland via his grandfather, has yet to make the first team at Bournemouth but has impressed in a number of loan spells.

King is preparing for a double header for his U21 squad next month, the Irish U21s in action against Slovenia (home) and Serbia (away). With nine points from seven games to date and only three games remaining, Ireland are out of contention for qualification for the 2017 U21 Euro finals.

With Martin O'Neill likely to have first call on Callum O'Dowda, who made his senior debut against Belarus in May, King's options are reduced for the upcoming games with three key players at U21 level (Darragh Lenihan, Jack Connors and Sean Kavanagh) suspended for the September 2nd game against Slovenia in Waterford.

Defender Tommie Hoban, who was back in the Watford squad for their weekend Premier League defeat to Chelsea, is likely to return after a long spell out due to injury.

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