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Sunday 25 August 2019

Parrott may get to fly with U19s

Waiting: Troy Parrott
Waiting: Troy Parrott

Ireland U19 team boss Tom Mohan is still playing a waiting game with English clubs as he plots a course for the European Championship finals.

But he has not given up on the prospect of Premier League prospects Lee O'Connor (Manchester United) and Troy Parrott (Spurs) being part of the squad when the U19s kick off their campaign in the finals in Armenia next week.

Mohan's squad pulled off a major achievement in qualifying for the finals but preparations for the tournament have been anything but smooth. Because the finals do not fall during the official FIFA calendar, clubs are not obliged to release their players.

Stoke City had already stated that they didn't want Dubliner Nathan Collins to travel to Armenia as they required him for pre-season training with the first team, the 18-year-old hoping to build on a strong finish to last season where he made three Championship appearances.

Norwich City also pulled rank on striker Adam Idah and insisted he stay in England for their pre-season, while Luca Connell's move from Bolton to Celtic ruled him out for Armenia as the midfielder was named in the Bhoys' squad for the Champions League campaign which starts tonight in Bosnia.

There was a further blow this week when Southampton included Irish teens Will Smallbone and Michael Obafemi in their squad for a tour of Austria, meaning they miss out on Armenia, though Obafemi had played no part in qualifying with the U19s.

Home-based players from the squad will travel to London today and meet up with players from UK clubs before the squad fly to Yerevan tomorrow.

Boss Mohan hopes that Waterford-born defender O'Connor will be allowed travel as he did not make the Manchester United squad for their pre-season tour of Australia and talks are ongoing with Spurs over starlet Parrott as well as with Derby County over the possible release of Jason Knight.

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