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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 12 December, 2018
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Nigerian-eligible Southampton teenager among four new call-ups in Ireland squad

Michael Obafemi has been included for this month’s games against Northern Ireland and Denmark, while Robbie Brady and Seamus Coleman return from injury.

Obafami facing Tottenham's Mousa Dembele last season.
Obafami facing Tottenham's Mousa Dembele last season.
Image: Mark Kerton

IRELAND BOSS MARTIN O’Neill has included a quartet of new faces in the provisional Ireland squad for the upcoming fixtures against Northern Ireland and Denmark.

While captain Seamus Coleman and Burnley’s Robbie Brady return to the set-up after recovering from their respective injuries, Jon Walters (Achilles) and Stephen Ward (knee) both miss out. 

There are four first-time call-ups in the shape of Southampton forward Michael Obafemi, Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, Rotherham striker Ryan Manning (on loan from QPR), and Hearts’ Jimmy Dunne (on loan from Burnley).

18-year-old Obafemi, who was born in Dublin to Nigerian parents before leaving for England, is an Ireland U19 international, but both Nigeria and England have reportedly shown interest.

The teenager made his first-team debut for the Saints against Tottenham earlier this year, came off the bench in last weekend’s defeat to Manchester City. 

Cork native Kelleher, who is in the Liverpool squad for their Champions League trip to face Red Star Belgrade tonight, previously trained with the senior Ireland squad in the wake of their Nations League defeat to Wales. 

Galway-born Manning and Dunne, who is originally from Drogheda, are both Ireland U21 internationals, meanwhile. 

On his 85th senior appearance, Aston Villa midfielder Glenn Whelan will lead the team out as captain against Northern Ireland on 15 November, and that is expected to be his final cap for the Boys in Green as he won’t be part of the squad that then travels to Denmark. 

Republic of Ireland provisional squad

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Colin Doyle (Hearts), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Sean McDermott (Kristiansund BK)

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Jimmy Dunne (Hearts – on loan from Burnley), John Egan, Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers), Greg Cunningham (Cardiff City)

Midfielders: Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Harry Arter (Cardiff City – on loan from Bournemouth), Conor Hourihane, Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), David Meyler (Reading), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Shaun Williams (Millwall), Richie Towell, Ryan Manning (Rotherham United – on loan from QPR), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City)

Forwards: Shane Long, Michael Obafemi (Southampton), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Sean Maguire, Callum Robinson (Preston North End), Aiden O’Brien (Millwall), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth)

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Ben Blake

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