Darragh Burns and Phil Neville's son Harvey included in one-off Irish U20s camp

A special camp of U20 players has been called for this month, with many of the named players having not played for Ireland in two years.

Darragh Burns.
Darragh Burns.
Image: Evan Treacy/INPHO

JIM CRAWFORD WILL provide over a one-off camp for U20 Irish players this month, with the squad announced earlier today. 

The pandemic saw several underage football tournaments cancelled, which meant the FAI lost out on coaching time with certain age groups, particularly those who would have played at U19 level in 2020 and 2021. 

To help rectify the situation, Jim Crawford has selected a squad of U20 players – those born in 2002 – who will play a one-off friendly against a Republic of Ireland Amateur XI. 

There will be scope for some of those to impress in the U20 squad to link up with the U21 squad for this month’s European Championship qualifier Sweden in Borås on March 29.

“I’m delighted to have this group of players join us for a camp – it will be a tough game against tough opposition”, said Jim Crawford.

“It gives us an opportunity to have a look at 2002-born players who haven’t had the chance to wear the Ireland jersey since 2019. That’s a long time in football, so it’s important we get this group in as we look at options for the next U21s qualification campaign.”

Included in the squad is St Patrick’s Athletic winger Darragh Burns, whose transfer from Northern Ireland has been completed. Harvey Neville of Inter Miami, son of the club’s manager Phil, is also included, having previously been named in an Irish U19 squad in 2019. He qualifies through a Derry connection on his mother’s side of the family. 

Joe Hodge, who impressed for Ireland in the run to the semi-finals at the U19 Euros in 2-19, has recovered from a long-term back injury to be included. English-born Tom Hill, who signed a professional contract at Liverpool in 2020, is an attacking midfielder who has battled long-term knee injury and is included in an Irish squad for the first time. Hill has played once for Liverpool’s first team, against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup in December 2019. 

Armstrong Oko-Flex, a fixture of the West Ham bench in the Premier League in recent weeks, is also included. 

Republic of Ireland U20s squad

Goalkeepers: David Harrington (Cork City), David Odumosu (St. Patrick’s Athletic)

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Defenders: Zak Delaney (Bath City, on loan from West Bromwich Albion), James Furlong (Brighton & Hove Albion), Nico Jones (Brentford), Harvey Neville (Inter Miami), Mazeed Ogungbo (Arsenal), Conor O’Riordan (Crewe Alexandra), Timi Sobowale (Wigan Athletic)

Midfielders: Tom Hill (Liverpool), Ciaran Gilligan (Burton Albion), Killian Philips (Crystal Palace), Joe Hodge (Wolves), Kian Leavy (Reading), Flynn Clarke (Norwich City)

Forwards: Darragh Burns (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Tom Cannon (Everton), Armstrong Oko-Flex (West Ham United), Deji Sotona (Brentford)

Match information
Republic of Ireland U20s v Republic of Ireland Amateur selection, Home Farm FC, Whitehall, Dublin, KO 7.30pm

Ticket information: TBC

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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