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Ireland U21s head into final two games with Euros spot still up for grabs

Manager Noel King has named a 20-man squad for the upcoming qualifiers today.

Portsmouth's Ronan Curtis has been included.
Portsmouth's Ronan Curtis has been included.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE REPUBLIC OF Ireland’s U21s are facing into two away games this month as the Uefa European Championships campaign draws to a close.

Currently level on points with second-placed Norway and four behind Group 5 leaders Germany, the Boys in Green meet Israel in Akko next Thursday, before travelling to Heidenheim to face the reigning European champions on 16 October.

With the group winners progressing to next year’s finals in Italy along with the four best-placed runners-up, Noel King’s side hold a slim hope of qualification but would need results to go their way.

A 20-man squad was announced today, with Mansfield Town defender Ryan Sweeney and Porstmouth striker Ronan Curtis both returning after serving one-game suspensions.

Curtis, who has six league goals for Pompey this season, has also been named in the provisional senior squad, so there’s a possibility he could be called upon by Martin O’Neill once again — having made the trip to Poland for a recent friendly.

Ireland U21 table Source: Uefa.com

Meanwhile, there’s a first inclusion for Coventry City winger Jordan Shipley, who has made 10 appearances in League One this term.

“To go into the final two games of the campaign with a chance of qualifying is a great achievement by the group,” said King.

“We were obviously disappointed with the defeat against Germany last time out but we’ll all learn from that and look to claim two positive results.

We’re delighted to welcome Jordan Shipley into the squad for his first international call-up and also welcome back Ronan Curtis to the U21 squad who had a valuable experience with the senior squad for the Poland friendly.

“The players are well aware of the opportunity they have created for themselves with an impressive campaign to date and they’re anxious to round off the campaign with qualification to the finals tournament in Italy 2019.”

Republic of Ireland U21 squad v Israel & Germany

Goalkeepers: Kieran O’Hara (Manchester United, loan Macclesfield Town), Liam Bossin (Nottingham Forest).

Defenders: Danny Kane (Cork City, loan AFC Flyde), Corey Whelan (Liverpool, loan Crewe Alexandra), Ryan Sweeney (Stoke City, loan Mansfield Town), Ryan Delaney (Rochdale), Jimmy Dunne (Burnley, loan Hearts), Sean McLaughlin (Cork City), Shaun Donnellan (Yeovil Town).

Midfielders: Josh Cullen (West Ham United, loan Charlton Athletic), Harry Charsley (Everton), Ryan Manning (QPR, loan Rotherham), Liam Kinsella (Walsall), Jordan Shipley (Coventry City), Jamie McGrath (Dundalk).

Attackers: Reece Grego-Cox (Crawley Town), Ronan Hale ( Birmingham City, loan Derry City), Joe Quigley (Maidstone United), Jake Mulraney (Hearts), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth).

Ireland’s upcoming fixtures: 

  • Thursday, 11 October – Israel v Republic of Ireland, 3pm (5pm local time), Akko Municipal, Akko.
  • Tuesday, 16 October – Germany v Republic of Ireland, 5.15pm (6.15pm local time), Albstadion, Heidenheim.

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Ben Blake

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