King includes Villan Williams
Soccer:Republic of Ireland U-21 team manager Noel King has added Aston Villa’s Derrick Williams to his squad for the forthcoming UEFA Championships qualifiers against Hungary and Italy.The Irish meet Hungary in Kecskemét on Thursday before travelling to the south of Italy to meet the Italians in Casarano on Monday. Williams, 19, has been on the bench for Villa recently and is the latest member of the Irish U-19 side that reached the UEFA Championships semi-finals last year to progress to U-21 level.
Wolves winger Anthony Forde was drafted over the weekend for the first time at this level while Jeff Hendrick (Derby), Sean Murray (Watford), Samir Carruthers (Aston Villa), John Egan (Sunderland) and Aaron McCarey (Wolves) were also in the same U19 squad in Romania last year.
King’s charges can still claim second place in Group Seven with a victory in both those games. Ireland beat Hungary 2-1 in Sligo in August last year in their opening game of the campaign.
James Collins, Conor Clifford, Niall Canavan and Sean Scannell were all withdrawn from the original squad. King though is very pleased with the quality he has with him in Hungary. “You lose some and gain some. I’m very happy with the players we have here. The mood is very good; its’ a very talented group.
“You’re never sure what kind of team Hungary will put out and whether they’ll change things around looking towards the next campaign or whatever they’re doing. We have to be prepared for whatever we face. It’s encouraging to know we’ve beaten them already but it’s a whole new game and we’ll see what we can do.”