Ireland Under-21 squad named for crucial Euro qualification matches

Republic of Ireland's Under-21s are gearing up for a pivotal pair of UEFA EURO Qualifiers with Head Coach Jim Crawford announcing a 24-player lineup.

Ireland is currently leading Group A with a perfect record, but faces stern challenges ahead.

The team will travel to Drammen to face Norway on November 17 and will host Italy at Turner’s Cross in Cork on November 21.

The squad sees the return of Killian Phillips from Wycombe Wanderers and Tayo Adaramola of Crystal Palace.

Kian Leavy of St. Patrick’s Athletic earns his first call-up since March, and Sean Roughan is back from a suspension.

Anselmo Garcia MacNulty makes a comeback after an injury, while captain Joe Hodge is sidelined due to shoulder surgery.

The upcoming qualifier in Norway will be broadcast live, allowing fans to tune in to RTÉ for the action.

Following that, the team will enjoy the support of at least over 3,500 fans when they return home to face Italy, with tickets in high demand.

Crawford expressed enthusiasm for the forthcoming matches, acknowledging the quality of the opposition and the support from fans. 

“These will be two tough games against two quality teams and we’re certainly looking forward to them.

“We have great momentum going into this international window but Norway and Italy will pose new tests for us.

"They’re exciting games to be involved in and to hear we have a healthy crowd expected at Turner’s Cross highlights shows how much backing the public in Cork have for this group of players and it would be amazing to see it sell-out.”

The squad in full is: 

Goalkeepers: Tiernan Brooks (Cork City, on loan from Notts County), Killian Cahill (Brighton & Hove Albion), Josh Keeley (Tottenham Hotspur)

Defenders: James Abankwah (Charlton Athletic, on loan from Udinese), Tayo Adaramola (Crystal Palace), Sam Curtis (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Anselmo Garcia MacNulty (PEC Zwolle), Sean Grehan (Crystal Palace), Bosun Lawal (Fleetwood Town, on loan from Celtic), Connor O’Riordan (Crewe Alexandra), Sean Roughan (Lincoln City)

Midfielders: Baba Adeeko (Wigan Athletic), Zak Gilsenan (Blackburn Rovers), Matt Healy (Royal Francs Borains), Kian Leavy (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Andrew Moran (Blackburn Rovers, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion), Ollie O’Neill (Fulham), Killian Phillips (Wycombe Wanderers, on-loan from Crystal Palace)

Forward: Sinclair Armstrong (QPR), Conor Carty (St. Patrick’s Athletic, on loan from Bolton Wanderers), Aidomo Emakhu (Millwall), Johnny Kenny (Shamrock Rovers, on loan from Celtic), Armstrong Oko-Flex (FC Zurich), Tony Springett (Norwich City)