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Simon Stacpoole/INPHO Ireland and Tottenham star Troy Parrott.
# 17 again
Ireland U17 squad announced for Euros on home soil with Parrott's involvement still unclear
Colin O’Brien has named 19 players, with one spot yet to be finalised.

Updated at 12.11

IRELAND U17 HEAD coach Colin O’Brien has named a 19-man squad for the upcoming Uefa European Championships, which will be played on these shores, with Tottenham’s Troy Parrott a notable absentee as it stands.

While Manchester City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu and Derby County’s Festy Ebsoele return to the squad after call-ups to the Ireland U21 and U19 set-ups, Parrott’s involvement is still unclear.

“A decision will be made on the final player to complete the squad with O’Brien still in talks with Tottenham Hotspur over the possibility of playmaker Troy Parrott being involved,” a press release from the FAI reads.

The 17-year-old Dubliner has been on fire for Spurs U19s and U23s since returning from injury earlier this month. He was called up to Stephen Kenny’s Ireland U21 squad in March for the side’s opening Euro 2021 qualifier, but was forced to sit out after sustaining the toe injury.

Parrott could also potentially play in the Euro U19 finals in July, with Ireland one of eight teams to have qualified for the tournament. 

“We’ll know today,” manager Colin O’Brien said, when asked about Parrott. “Spurs still have to make their final decision on it. There’s a lot going on at the club. You have to respect that. He’s at a level now at the club where he may be needed for certain games et cetera. But they’ve told us they’d give us a decision today.

“If Troy’s available, he’ll add to us no doubt. We’ve planned for [the tournament without him].

“What’s impacting [Tottenham's] thinking is they’ve had injury issues with the seniors. Players underneath that, 23s or youths, may be moved up through the ranks. If Pochettino needs x amount of players for training, he may need players from the underage groups or he needs certain players for his squad or travelling squad, they will get bumped up.

“The same principle on Monday night if you look at James Furlong that played with Shamrock Rovers against Dundalk. It’s brilliant to see that James is in our squad but Rovers had a few issues with injuries or suspensions and a young boy gets an opportunity.”

On Parrott’s excellent form, O’Brien added: “I’ve just played a hand in his development. There’s been a lot of other people. We gave him a platform to play up an age group last year. He grabbed it and he’s progressed again. With this age group, you look at players right now, but also for the long term. You cannot knock progression. That’s what we all want to see. We all want to see a young player play for our senior team. And hopefully a couple of these players will progress on to that.”

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While the U17 Boys in Green qualified directly for this week’s event as hosts, the long wait ends for European action ends on Friday as the tournament kicks off.

O’Brien’s side face Greece, Czech Republic and Belgium in Group A, lining out in Tallaght Stadium and RSC, Waterford. This is the third year in-a-row that the Ireland boss will lead a side in this tournament, with quarter-final finishes achieved in Croatia (2017) and England (2018).

But with this edition on home soil, he’s encouraging the public to come out and support the side.

“I can’t stress it enough to the public, this really is the biggest competition that they can play in,” O’Brien said.

“It’s the best of the best in Europe coming to Ireland – there is going to be some serious quality on the doorstep and we have some quality in our team as well.

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“Even for our own development, to play in front of an Irish crowd, getting behind the team, we know how well our supporters get behind our teams, and we really need that. We will need that 12th man, because tournament football is demanding, you have three games in seven days.

“Every bit of support we can get, whether it is in Tallaght or coming down to the RSC, come out and support us.”

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

Republic of Ireland Under 17 Squad

Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Manchester City), Jimmy Corcoran (Preston North End), Harry Halwax (Derby County)

Defenders: Sean McEvoy (Ballinmallard United), Anselmo Garcia McNulty (Real Betis), Luke Turner (Aberdeen), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Timi Sobowale (Manchester City), James Furlong (Shamrock Rovers)

Midfielders: Charlie McCann (Manchester United), Joe Hodge (Manchester City), Brandon Holt (St Patrick’s Athletic), Seamas Keogh (Southampton), Ronan McKinley (Derry City), Sean Kennedy (Sunderland), Festy Ebsoele (Derby County)

Forwards: Matt Everitt (Brighton & Hove Albion), Conor Carty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Joshua Giurgi (Norwich City)

Fixtures – Group A

  • Friday, 3 May: Republic of Ireland v Greece, Tallaght Stadium, KO 7pm
  • Monday, 6 May: Republic of Ireland v Czech Republic, RSC Waterford, KO 7pm
  • Thursday, 9 May: Republic of Ireland v Belgium, Tallaght Stadium, KO 7pm

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