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Jack Byrne returns to strong Ireland U21s squad as they look to keep up 100% record

Noel King’s men have six points from their opening two qualifiers and face Lithuania and Italy next month.

Midfielder Jack Byrne is included. Midfielder Jack Byrne is included. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

IRELAND U21 MANAGER Noel King has named a 22-man squad for the upcoming Uefa Euro 2017 qualifiers against Lithuania and Italy.

Having won their opening two matches, both against Andorra, the Boys in Green will be hoping to keep up their perfect start to the campaign as Lithuania visit Waterford’s RSC on 9 October before a Ireland take a trip to Vicenza to play Italy four days later.

U21 Group 2 Source: Uefa.com

Manchester City midfielder Jack Byrne, on loan at Dutch club Cambuur for the season, returns the squad, while Dundalk’s Sean Maguire is the only home-based player on the panel.

Everton’s Sam Byrne and Kenneth McEvoy of Tottenham are also back and West Ham midfielder Josh Cullen keeps his place after scoring on his competitive debut at this level earlier this month.

Noel King U21 boss Noel King. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“I’m happy with two previous results in the group so far,” said King. ”Everybody who was involved in our last game is involved again in this provisional squad, which is great.

They will be two tough games against Lithuania and Italy. First things first, we have to focus on Lithuania. We will be hoping to get a decent crowd to the RSC, we got a good crowd last time for the Andorra game.

“We have Jack Byrne back involved and he is playing first team football in Holland, which is great because our players are getting a lot more experience at first-team level and we are getting more experienced as a squad.”

Ireland U21 squad

Danny Rogers (Aberdeen – On loan at Falkirk)
Ian Lawlor (Manchester City)
Eric Grimes (Leeds United)
Brian Lenihan (Hull City)
Shane Griffin (Reading)
Jack Connors (Dagenham & Redbridge)
Sean Kavanagh (Fulham)
Sean Long (Reading)
Glen Rea (Brighton & Hove Albion – On loan at Southend United)
Tommie Hoban (Watford)
Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers)
Josh Cullen (West Ham United)
Alan Browne (Preston North End)
Jack Byrne (Manchester City – On loan at Cambuur)
Callum O’Dowda (Oxford United)
Dylan Connolly (Ipswich Town)
Kenneth McEvoy (Tottenham Hotspur)
Shamir Fenelon (Crawley Town)
Reece Grego-Cox (Queens Park Rangers)
Sean Maguire (Dundalk)
Conor Wilkinson (Barnsley)
Sam Byrne (Everton)

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Ben Blake

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