Mick McCarthy names Ireland squad for Denmark and Gibraltar
18-year-old Bolton Wanderers midfielder Luca Connell included for Portugal camp
18-year-old Luca Connell has been named in Mick McCarthy’s Ireland squad for the June window. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Mick McCarthy has named his 27-man squad for Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar in June.
And he has handed a first call up to 18-year-old Bolton Wanderers midfielder Luca Connell, who broke into the first team during a trying season which saw the club relegated from the Championship and enter administration.
McCarthy is taking 23 players on a training trip to Portugal ahead of the double-header, with four players - Conor Hourihane, Richard Keogh, Glenn Whelan and Josh Cullen - involved in the playoffs.
And the absence of three midfielders has opened the door for Connell, McCarthy said: “Luca deserves this opportunity. With midfielders Conor Hourihane, Glenn Whelan and Josh Cullen all on playoff duty with their clubs in the coming weeks, this is the perfect chance to get Luca into the squad.
“He has had a fine season with Bolton playing 15 times in total and even with their relegation troubles, he has impressed so many people. I know a number of big clubs have sent scouts to watch him so this is a chance to get him in to work with the senior players and see how he gets on.”
Harry Arter, Jack Byrne, James Collins and Aiden O’Brien miss out, while Preston duo Callum Robinson and Alan Browne, Bristol City’s Callum O’Dowda and Shane Long all travel to Portugal.
Cardiff City defender Greg Cunningham and Aston Villa’s Scott Hogan could feature under McCarthy for the first time.
Ireland travel to play Denmark on Friday June 7th, before welcoming Gibraltar to the Aviva Stadium on Monday June 10th.
Republic of Ireland Squad:
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Mark Travers (Bournemouth), Sean McDermott (Kristiansund BK).
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), John Egan (Sheffield United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Greg Cunningham (Cardiff City).
Midfielders: Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Luca Connell (Bolton Wanderers), Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic*), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth).
Forwards: David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), Shane Long (Southampton), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Callum Robinson (Preston North End).
*Indicates the player is on loan