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Promising Brighton youngster included in Stephen Kenny's Ireland U21 squad for first time

Aaron Connolly is among the players to feature.

Stephen Kenny (file pic).
Stephen Kenny (file pic).
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

PROMISING BRIGHTON YOUNGSTER Aaron Connolly has been included in the Ireland U21 squad for the upcoming Toulon Tournament.

Connolly, who has been in fine form at club level this season, missed the most recent European Championship qualifier with Luxembourg through injury.

UCD goalkeeper Conor Kearns also comes into the squad, while Barnet midfielder Jack Taylor is also included.

Kearns is joined by UCD team-mates Liam Scales and Neil Farrugia, who were both recently the subject of interest from Manchester City.

Canice Carroll, who was on loan at Swindon Town recently features, while the squad includes seven League of Ireland players in total.

Promising Waterford midfielder Zach Elbouzedi is named in Kenny’s side, as is St Patrick’s Athletic’s Jamie Lennon.

“We’re extremely excited about going to the Toulon tournament and this is a fantastic opportunity for the players to express themselves in one of the most prestigious under-age international tournaments,” the Ireland U21 boss said on Tuesday.

We’re never qualified for the European Championships at U21 level so this tournament represents the highest level we’d have played at and we’re set to play Mexico, China and Bahrain’s Olympic squads, as they prepare to qualify for Tokyo 2020.”

“It’s also crucially important that we continue to build momentum throughout the year after the win over Luxembourg and looking ahead to the qualifiers in October and November.”

He added: “I’m delighted to welcome into the squad the likes of Stephen Mallon, Canice Carroll, Jason Knight, Tykreke Wilson and Aaron Connolly who step up to the U21 international level for the first time, and also, Jack Taylor, who comes into his first Ireland squad.”

Ireland U21 Squad

Goalkeepers: Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Conor Kearns (UCD AFC).

Defenders: Darragh Leahy (Bohemians), Conor Masterson (Liverpool), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Liam Scales (UCD AFC), Lee O’Connor (Manchester United), Tyreke Wilson (Manchester City), Canice Carroll (Brentford).

Midfielders: Jayson Molumby (Brighton and Hove Albion), Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Jason Knight (Derby County), Connor Ronan (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Neil Farrugia (UCD AFC), Stephen Mallon (Sheffield United), Zach Elbouzedi (Waterford), Simon Power (Norwich City), Jack Taylor (Barnet), Jamie Lennon (St. Patrick’s Athletic).

Forwards: Adam Idah (Norwich City), Aaron Drinan (Ipswich Town, on loan at Waterford), Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion).

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Paul Fennessy

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