Tom Cannon and Festy Ebosele to miss Ireland under-21 friendlies in Austria

Jim Crawford’s under-21s are set to face Gabon under-23s, Ukraine and Kuwait under-21s next week

Republic of Ireland under-21 manager Jim Crawford must plan without Tom Cannon (illness) and Festy Ebosele (muscle injury) for three international friendlies in Austria next week.

Ireland face Gabon under-23s, Ukraine and Kuwait under-21s as part of preparations for European Championship qualifiers against Turkey and San Marino in September.

Cannon and Ebosele were recently named checked by senior Ireland manager Stephen Kenny, suggesting that both players will be promoted from the underage ranks when available. Cannon was outstanding for Preston North End, scoring eight goals in 20 appearances while on loan from Everton this season, while Ebosele was beginning to establish himself on the right wing for Italian club Udinese.

Former St Patrick’s Athletic defender James Abankwah has been called up following his first start in Serie A, also for Udinese, against Juventus last Sunday.


Rocco Vaka and Andrew Moran were also selected after making steady progress at their clubs, with Vaka making four league appearances off the bench for Celtic while Moran made his Premier League debut for Brighton against Everton in January.

Johnny Kenny is included following an impressive loan stint at Shamrock Rovers. The Celtic striker has scored four goals since being rerouted to Tallaght.

Seventeen of the squad are currently at English clubs, four are playing in the League of Ireland, with Anselmo Garcia MacNulty at Wolfsburg in Germany and Ed McJannet at Leece in Italy.

Ireland Under-21s Squad

Goalkeepers: Tiernan Brooks (Notts County), Killian Cahill (Brighton & Hove Albion), Josh Keeley (Tottenham Hotspur).

Defenders: James Abankwah (Udinese), Tayo Adaramola (Crystal Palace), Sam Curtis (St. Patrick’s Athletic), James Furlong (Brighton & Hove Albion), Anselmo Garcia MacNulty (Wolfsburg), Sean Grehan (Crystal Palace), Connor O’Riordan (Crewe Alexandra), Sean Roughan (Lincoln City).

Midfielders: Darragh Burns (MK Dons), Jack Henry-Francis (Arsenal), Joe Hodge (Wolves), Bosun Lawal (Celtic), Ed McJannet (Lecce), Killian Phillips (Crystal Palace), Rocco Vata (Celtic) Harry Vaughan (Hull City).

Forwards: Sinclair Armstrong (QPR), Conor Carty (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Dylan Duffy (Lincoln City), Johnny Kenny (Shamrock Rovers, on loan from Celtic), Andrew Moran (Brighton & Hove Albion), Armstrong Oko-Flex (West Ham United), Ollie O’Neill (Derry City, on loan from Fulham).

Ireland Under-21s international friendly fixtures (All times are Irish Standard Time)

Tuesday, June 13th | Ireland U21 v Gabon U23, KO 5pm, venue TBC

Friday, June 16th | Ukraine U21 v Ireland U21, KO 5pm, venue TBC

Monday, June 19th | Ireland U21 v Kuwait U22, KO 4pm, venue TBC

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey is The Irish Times' Soccer Correspondent