Irish U21s travel to Montenegro with foreign-based players

Jim Crawford was faced with sending an entirely home-based selection to Podgorica

Players based in England, Wales and Germany have been cleared by their clubs to travel for the Republic of Ireland Under-21's European qualifier against Montenegro on Tuesday.

Jim Crawford was faced with sending an entirely home-based selection to Podgorica, however the Irish squad has departed with a squad of 29 players following consultations with clubs, the English FA and Uefa after travel restrictions to Montenegro were relaxed by the British government.

Josh Honohan (Cork City), Brandon Kavanagh (Bray Wanderers), Johnny Kenny (Sligo Rovers), Niall Morahan (Sligo Rovers), Luke McNicholas (Cliftonville, on loan from Sligo Rovers), Killian Phillips (Drogheda United), Luke Turner (Cliftonville, on loan from Aberdeen), and Andrew Quinn (Bray Wanderers, on loan from Dundalk) met up with the squad on Thursday and have travelled to Montenegro.

Five players involved with preparations for Luxembourg have returned to their clubs - Sam Blair, Kameron Ledwidge, Oisin McEntee, Louie Watson and Tyreik Wright.

Crawford is eager for his team to build on Friday’s win over Luxembourg: “We’re relieved to have some clarity to what has been a unique situation in our preparations for Montenegro. The players showed incredible professionalism to remain focused on the Luxembourg game and that showed with the 2-0 win last night.

“We have travelled now with all the players available to us and this is a great opportunity for everyone involved to impress. We had looked at hosting a home-based game in the coming months and now we get to see, first hand, how these players can thrive in preparation for a competitive European qualifier.

“I’d like to thank the co-operation and support of the League of Ireland clubs who have been excellent with us in the last week or so. I’d also like to extend my gratitude to the UK and German clubs who have understood our situation and to the English FA for their continued assistance.”

Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad

Goalkeepers: Brian Maher (Bray Wanderers), Luke McNicholas (Cliftonville, on loan from Sligo Rovers), David Odumosu (Drogheda United)

Defenders: Joel Bagan (Cardiff City), Ronan Boyce (Derry City), Josh Honohan (Cork City), Andy Lyons (Bohemians), Mark McGuinness (Cardiff City), Niall Morahan (Sligo Rovers), Jake O'Brien (Crystal Palace), Lee O'Connor (Tranmere Rovers, on loan from Celtic), Andrew Quinn (Bray Wanderers, on loan from Dundalk), Luke Turner (Cliftonville, on loan from Aberdeen)

Midfielders: Conor Coventry (Peterborough United, on loan from West Ham United), Dawson Devoy (Bohemians), Alex Gilbert (Swindon Town, on loan from Brentford), Gavin Kilkenny (Bournemouth), Conor Noss (Borussia Möchengladbach), Killian Phillips (Drogheda United), Ross Tierney (Bohemians)

Forwards: Evan Ferguson (Brighton & Hove Albion), Will Ferry (Crawley Town, on loan from Southampton), Brandon Kavanagh (Bray Wanderers), Joshua 'JJ' Kayode (Rotherham United), Johnny Kenny (Sligo Rovers), Liam Kerrigan (UCD), Andrew Moran (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ollie O'Neill (Fulham), Colm Whelan (UCD)

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