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Brighton's Rea shines for U-21s

NOEL KING hopes he has uncovered a couple of potential gems after a new-look Ireland U21 side earned a 2-2 draw against Russia.

Beaten 1-0 by the USA in the first of their two-game batch of friendlies in Spain, Ireland rebounded from that loss and stormed into a 2-0 lead against a strong Russian side, thanks to goals from Brighton's Glen Rea and Shelbourne prospect Dylan Conolly.

Though Russia responded to claim two goals and get a draw, King was delighted with the few days spent with the squad as some new faces emerged.

"We have learned a lot about the players, we've had a look at some new talent and I think we could have some very good players here," said King.

"Lads like Dylan Connolly, Matty Hamilton and Glen Rea have all come into make their debuts in the last two games and they are fine players who could do well for us into the future.

"We had real pace up front with lads like Dylan Connolly, Ken McEvoy and Matt Hamilton, they looked like a real threat as a unit.

"Glen Rea looked very composed and he has adapted well to the international stage as this is the first time he's been with us. He's strong on the ball, he passes it well and has good feet, he is on the fringes of the first team at Brighton and he has a lot of potential," added King, pleased to see three home-based players imptress.

"We had Lee Desmond and Dylan Connolly in the starting line up and Sean Hoare from St Pats came on and did really well, I don't mind where players come from as long as they are good enough but was good to see three lads from the Airtricity League do well for the Ireland U21 side," added King, who now awaits the outcome of the draw for the Euro qualifiers.