Stephen Kenny names 26-man Ireland squad for Azerbaijan qualifier

Wigan Athletic striker Will Keane earns his first call-up as Jason Knight returns to fold

Will Keane has earned his first Ireland call-up. Photograph: Alex Dodd/Getty

Will Keane has earned his first Ireland call-up. Photograph: Alex Dodd/Getty

 

Wigan striker Will Keane has been given his first call-up for the Republic of Ireland for their matches against Azerbaijan and Qatar next month.

The 28-year-old, the twin brother of England and Everton defender Michael, represented England up to under-20 level but declared his intention to play for the Republic in February 2019.

He qualifies for Ireland through his father and, with Steven Kenny’s side desperate for goals, Keane has now been given his chance.

There is no place, though, for in-form Lincoln forward Anthony Scully, who has scored 10 goals this season.

Sheffield United full-back Enda Stevens, Derby midfielder Jason Knight and Rotherham winger Chiedozie Ogbene all return to the squad after injury ruled them out of September’s international fixtures.

Captain Seamus Coleman and defender Dara O’Shea, though, are both ruled out through injury.

Teenage Norwich defender Andrew Omobamidele, who made his debut against Portugal, keeps his place but keeper Darren Randolph is left out again.

The Republic, who have picked up only two points from their five qualifying matches so far, take on Azerbaijan in Baku on October 9th before meeting Qatar three days later in Dublin.

Republic of Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Portsmouth, on loan from Manchester City), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth).

Defenders: Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion), John Egan (Sheffield United), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Ryan Manning (Swansea City), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Nathan Collins (Burnley).

Midfielders: Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Harry Arter (Nottingham Forest), Jamie McGrath (St. Mirren), Jason Knight (Derby County).

Forwards: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), James Collins (Cardiff City), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Adam Idah (Norwich City), Troy Parrott (MK Dons, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United).

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