Andrews and Crawford join Ireland U21 coaching staff as Kenny names first squad

New Ireland U21 manager Stephen Kenny has unveiled his coaching team alongside his first squad.

Keith Andrews made 35 appearances for Ireland.
Keith Andrews made 35 appearances for Ireland.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

FORMER IRELAND MIDFIELDER Keith Andrews and Shelbourne legend Jim Crawford have been appointed as assistants to Stephen Kenny, with the new Ireland U21 boss unveiling his coaching staff and first squad on Thursday.

The former Dundalk manager was appointed as Noel King’s successor at the end of November and will take over from Mick McCarthy as senior boss following the conclusion of Euro 2020.

On Thursday he named his first squad as U21 manager, with the majority of his panel selected from the League of Ireland’s SSE Airtricity League, as well as two players from the Northern Irish Premiership.

All players are eligible for the upcoming Uefa U21 European Championships campaign, which starts in March against Luxembourg at Tallaght Stadium. 

Stephen Kenny New Ireland U21 manager Stephen Kenny was appointed in November. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

This week’s training squad will take on the Ireland Amateur team in a friendly game at Whitehall Stadium on Wednesday 6 February.

Kenny revealed that Ireland will also take part in the Toulon tournament in June, which is being held in France. Ireland have taken part in the competition six times in the past, last lining out in 2002.

A number of League of Ireland clubs boast multiple call-ups, with Darragh Leahy, Andy Lyons, Danny Mandroiu and Robbie McCourt of Bohemians, Trevor Clarke, Aaron Bolger and Brandon Kavanagh from Shamrock Rovers and UCD trio Conor Kearns, Liam Scales and Neil Farrugia all named.

Kenny has also called upon two players from the Northern Ireland Premiership, with Linfield striker Michael O’Connor and Crusaders’ Ronan Hale both named in the 21-man panel for next month’s training camp.

Trevor Clarke Trevor Clarke is one of three Shamrock Rovers players named in today's 21-man squad. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

O’Connor, who has previously played for Shamrock Rovers and Finn Harps, was born in Dundalk but last month said he wished to switch allegiances to play for Northern Ireland in the future.

“It is true that I’ve declared for Northern Ireland,” the forward said speaking to the Belfast Telegraph in December.

“I think it is the right decision for me, so going forward hopefully I will be playing for Northern Ireland.”

New assistant coach Andrews made 35 appearances for Ireland in midfield between 2008 and 2012 and is currently undertaking his Uefa Pro Licence.

Crawford, who won four Premier Division titles with Shelbourne during the 2000s, will now leave his role as Ireland U18 boss to work in Kenny’s new U21 set-up.

Republic of Ireland U21 Training squad

Goalkeepers: Conor Kearns (UCD), Ross Treacy (Dundalk)

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Defenders: Andy Lyons (Bohemians), Darragh Leahy (Bohemians), Conor McCarthy (Cork City), Trevor Clarke (Shamrock Rovers), Liam Scales (UCD), John Mahon (Sligo Rovers).

Midfielders: Dan Mandriou (Bohemians), Aaron Bolger (Shamrock Rovers), JJ Lunney (Waterford), Jamie Lennon (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Brandon Kavanagh (Shamrock Rovers), Robbie McCourt (Bohemians).

Forwards: Ronan Hale (Crusaders), Neil Farrugia (UCD), Michael O’Connor (Linfield), Will Fitzgerald (Limerick), Zach Elbouzedi (Waterford), Karl O’Sullivan (Limerick).

Republic of Ireland U21 Coaching Staff

Manager: Stephen Kenny
Assistant Coaches: Keith Andrews, Jim Crawford
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Damien Doyle
Goalkeeping Coach: Dan Connor
Performance Analyst: Gary Seery
Physiotherapist: Kevin Mulholland
Team Doctor: Ronan Kearney

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