Stephen Kenny forced to name depleted Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad

Republic of Ireland U21 Press ConferenceStephen Kenny has had to name a depleted squad for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s crucial UEFA Euro 2021 qualifiers with Armenia and Sweden. 

Through a combination of injury and promotion to Mick McCarthy’s senior side, Kenny will have to do without the services of strikers Troy Parrott and Jonathan Afolabi as they bid to remain top of Group One and Ireland’s attack is now significantly weaker.

Bohemians defender Darragh Leahy and Celtic’s Luca Connell both miss out through injury while Kenny already knew he would have to make do without influential duo Lee O’Connor and captain Jayson Molumby.

Having suffered defeat in their last qualifier, going down 1-0 away to Iceland, that trip to Reykjavik was notable for more than just a first competitive loss under Kenny.

The result was compounded by O’Connor’s red card, who will be unavailable for the trip to Armenia along with midfielder Molumby, whose accumulation of yellow cards also rules him out.

Aston Villa’s Jack Clarke receives his first call-up as well as Hearts striker Aidan Keena and full-back Thomas O’Connor, who is currently on loan at Gillingham from Southampton.

Trevor Clarke, now with Rotherham United, has returned to full fitness, and receives his first call-up since the victory over Luxembourg in March.

Republic of Ireland Under-21 Squad

Goalkeepers: Kelleher (Liverpool), Kearns (UCD AFC).

Defenders: O’Connor (Gillingham, on loan from Southampton), McNamara (Newport County, on loan from Millwall), O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Masterson (QPR), Scales (UCD AFC), Collins (Stoke City), Clarke (Rotherham).

Midfielders: Knight (Derby County), Coventry (West Ham United), Taylor (Barnet), Clarke (Aston Villa), Ronan (DAC Dunajská Streda, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Mandroiu (Bohemians).

Forwards: Elbouzedi (Waterford), Kilkenny (AFC Bournemouth), Farrugia (Shamrock Rovers), Danny Grant (Bohemians), Idah (Norwich City), Keena (Hearts), Obafemi (Southampton). 

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