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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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Celtic youngster O'Connor and Parrott included in finalised Ireland squad

Mick McCarthy is glad to have the likes of Robbie Brady, Ciaran Clark and David McGoldrick back for this month’s games against New Zealand and Denmark.

Lee O'Connor training with Ireland's U21s.
Lee O'Connor training with Ireland's U21s.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

IRELAND MANAGER MICK McCarthy has finalised his squad for this month’s senior international fixtures. 

A friendly match at home to New Zealand is next up for the Boys in Green a week from today, before they welcome Denmark to the Aviva Stadium for a massive Euro 2020 qualifier on Monday, 18 November. 

Having suggested that the New Zealand game would be a good opportunity to see young players in action, McCarthy has included U21 trio Aaron Connolly, Troy Parrott and Lee O’Connor. 

Brighton forward Connolly made his Ireland debut last month after impressing in the Premier League, while 17-year-old striker Parrott has featured for Spurs’ first team in the Carabao Cup this season. 

Celtic defender O’Connor gets the nod as he is suspended for the Ireland U21 qualifier away to Armenia (14 November). However, he will rejoin Stephen Kenny’s squad for the home game against Sweden Tuesday, 19 November. 

“The benefit of the friendly before the competitive game is that it allows me to try out a few things and give match time to players who need it,” McCarthy told FAI.ie.

“With Lee suspended for the first of the two U21 matches, this is the perfect opportunity to have a look at him in the friendly, introduce him to senior international football and see how he gets on. I’ve been impressed with him for the 21s and I know how important he is to them for that Sweden game so this is a win-win for all concerned.

Likewise, Troy Parrott is in the squad for the first time and he will feature against New Zealand next Thursday. All he has to do is look at how well Aaron Connolly did last time in Georgia and Switzerland to see the opportunity that is there for him now.

“The same will apply for other players who will get a chance against New Zealand and can give me something to think about for the Denmark match. We know that’s the game we have to win and I can’t wait to get into camp now on Sunday and start working with these players again.”

leicester-city-v-burnley-premier-league-king-power-stadium McCarthy is delighted to have Robbie Brady back involved. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Burnley midfielder Robbie Brady is back in the fold, while Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark is also included for the first this year. 

Sheffield United striker David McGoldrick, who missed the most recent qualifiers against Georgia and Switzerland with a calf injury, features too. 

“Robbie was left out last month simply because he had only played three minutes in the Premier League all season when I named the squad,” McCarthy added.

“He is back involved with the Burnley first team now and getting game time and his involvement is a real boost to us ahead of the match against Denmark because of the quality he brings to the team.

I will give Robbie time against New Zealand to get ready for Denmark. He is one of the players in the squad who will really benefit from the New Zealand game before we play the Danes.

“Ciaran is in the same boat. He had to get back with Newcastle before he could back with us but he is playing well for them now and I was impressed with him against West Ham last Saturday.

“David’s return is the big bonus for all of us. Everyone knows how well he has done for us in the European Championship games he has played this year and he has been brilliant for his club in recent weeks.”

McCarthy has named first-choice goalkeeper Darren Randolph, Wolves defender Matt Doherty and Hearts midfielder Glenn Whelan of Hearts, who have all recovered from their respective injuries. 

“They’ll all be in Dublin and they’re looking forward to it as much as I am,” McCarthy said. 

Those who miss out after being named in the provisional squad are: Keiren Westwood, Caoimhin Kelleher, Cyrus Christie, Darragh Lenihan, Ryan Manning, Nathan Collins, Aidan O’Brien, Kieran Sadlier, Ronan Curtis, Shane Long and Michael Obafemi. 

Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy requested to remain at his club “for personal reasons”. 

Republic of Ireland squad 

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Kieran O’Hara (Burton Albion, on loan from Manchester United), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth).

Defenders: Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion), Kevin Long (Burnley), John Egan (Sheffield United), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers), Lee O’Connor (Celtic).

Midfielders: Alan Browne (Preston North End), Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic, on loan from West Ham United), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), Glenn Whelan (Heart of Midlothian), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), James McClean (Stoke City), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), Robbie Brady (Burnley)

Forwards: Callum Robinson (Sheffield United), Troy Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur), Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), James Collins (Luton Town), Scott Hogan (Stoke City, on loan from Aston Villa), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Alan Judge (Ipswich Town)

- Originally published at 14.26

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Ben Blake

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