Mick McCarthy has named his 27-man final squad for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar on June 7th in Copenhagen and on June 10th in Dublin.
The most surprising inclusion in the group is that of 18-year-old Luca Connell. The Liverpool-born midfielder featured 12 times for Bolton during the just finished 2018-’19 season after making his debut in the FA Cup back in January. Connell is an Ireland Under-19 international.
With Bolton in administration, and relegated to League One, Connell has garnered plenty of interest from other teams, including from Norwich, Southampton, Preston and Rangers.
“Luca deserves this opportunity,” said McCarthy at today’s squad announcement.
“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.”
A group of 23 players will travel to a training camp in Portugal ahead of the qualifiers. Richard Keogh, Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane, and Josh Cullen, all of whom are still involved in Football League playoffs with their club, will join the squad in Dublin ahead of the game with Denmark.
Norway-based goalkeeper Sean McDermott also joined the squad due to Kieran O’Hara being injured. Harry Arter, Jack Byrne, James Collins and Aiden O’Brien have also missed out.
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)