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Never heard of Callum O'Dowda? Here's what you need to know about Ireland's new boy

The winger has been performing well with the U21s.

O’Dowda has made five appearances for the U21s, scoring once.
O’Dowda has made five appearances for the U21s, scoring once.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Updated 14.35

BEFORE THIS MORNING’S squad announcement, Callum O’Dowda was a name that was almost unheard of on the Irish international front.

The 21-year-old, who plays his club football with Oxford, was included in Martin O’Neill’s 35-man squad that will face the Netherlands in a friendly on 27 May ahead of the Euros.

His performances over the past few months with Ireland U21s have caught O’Neill’s eye.

Oxford United v Swansea City - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Kassam Stadium O'Dowda in action for Oxford. Source: David Davies

“Callum O’Dowda did very, very well for Ireland U21s against Italy. I like him. He has ability,” Martin O’Neill said in his press conference after naming the squad.

The winger has been impressive in League Two this season, scoring 10 goals across all competitions. On Saturday, O’Dowda helped his side seal promotion, scoring the final goal as they saw off Wycombe 3-0.

A product of their youth academy, he’s known for his pace and skill and has featured heavily since breaking through to the first team in 2014. His first league goal was nominated for goal of the season.

Despite being born in Kidlington, the winger is eligible to play for Ireland through his late grandfather, Brendan, from Dundalk. O’Dowda received the call-up to the Ireland U21 side in March 2015 and made his debut later that month against Andorra.

He has made five appearances for the U21 team, most recently away to Slovenia in March where he scored the only goal in a 3-1 defeat.

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The midfielder has previously been linked to Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool.

You can see him in action here:

Source: OUFC YELLOWS/YouTube

– An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Ireland U21s were beaten 3-1 by Andorra in March; they were beaten 3-1 by Slovenia.

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