First call-ups for Hodge and Adaramola as U21 squad named for decisive qualifiers

Jim Crawford’s side retain a chance of automatic qualification for the finals in Georgia and Romania.

Joe Hodge playing for the Irish U17s in 2019.
Joe Hodge playing for the Irish U17s in 2019.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

JOE HODGE OF Wolves, Tayo Adaramola of Crystal Palace, QPR’s Sinclair Armstrong and David Harrington of Cork City have all received their first Irish U21 call-ups as part of a 25-man squad for a trio of Euro 2023 qualifiers. 

Manager Jim Crawford today announced his squad for the final three games of the group: a double-header of home games against Bosnia and Montenegro ahead of the final game away to Italy. 

Hodge starred for the Irish U19s in the run to the semi-finals of the 2019 European Championships but has suffered from a long-term back problem since, which meant he didn’t make an appearance during a loan move to Derry City last year. He has since left Manchester City to join Wolves, with whose U23s side he won promotion to the top flight this season. 

Left-back Adaramola, meanwhile, made his full first team debut for Palace in the FA Cup earlier this season. Armstrong is a striker who spent the final weeks of the season on loan at Aldershot Town in the Conference. Harrington has been Cork City’s first-choice goalkeeper in the First Division thus far. 

Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Conor Noss and UCD attacker Liam Kerrigan also return to Crawford’s squad, with the latter’s team-mate Colm Whelan absent as he recovers from an ACL injury. Festy Ebosele isn’t included as he has been called up to the senior squad. 

Ireland are third in their group with three games to go, a point behind second-placed Sweden but with a game in hand. They trail leaders Italy by four points having played the same number of games. 

Top spot in the group will qualify automatically for the finals in Romania and Georgia, while second place will earn a play-off spot. No Irish side has ever qualified for an U21 finals. 

Republic of Ireland Under-21s Squad
Goalkeepers: Brian Maher (Derry City), Luke McNicholas (Sligo Rovers), David Harrington (Cork City).
Defenders: Tayo Adaramola (Crystal Palace), Joe Bagan (Cardiff City), Andy Lyons (Shamrock Rovers), Oisin McEntee (Newcastle United), Mark McGuinness (Cardiff City), Jake O’Brien (Crystal Palace), Lee O’Connor (Tranmere Rovers).
Midfielders: Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Dawson Devoy (Bohemians), Joe Hodge (Wolves), Gavin Kilkenny (Bournemouth), Conor Noss (Borussia Möchengladbach), Will Smallbone (Southampton), Ross Tierney (Motherwell).

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Forwards: Sinclair Armstrong (QPR), Darragh Burns (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Evan Ferguson (Brighton & Hove Albion), JJ Kayode (Rotherham United), Liam Kerrigan (UCD), Ollie O’Neill (Fulham), Mipo Odubeko (West Ham United), Tyreik Wright (Aston Villa).

 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifiers – Group F (all times are Irish time)


 Friday, June 3 | Republic of Ireland U21 v Bosnia & Herzegovina U21, Tallaght Stadium, 7.30pm
Monday, June 6 | Republic of Ireland U21 v Montenegro U21, Tallaght Stadium, 5pm
Tuesday, June 14 | Italy U21 v Republic of Ireland U21, Stadio Cino e Lillo Del Duca, Ascoli, Italy, 4.30pm 

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Gavin Cooney

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