Dublin: 8°C Friday 3 December 2021

La Liga teenager John Joe Patrick Finn set to be available for Ireland U21s

The 17-year-old has already made a number of appearances for Getafe.

John Joe Patrick Finn (file pic).
John Joe Patrick Finn (file pic).

IRELAND U21 BOSS Jim Crawford says he is confident Getafe youngster John Joe Patrick Finn will be available for selection in the near future.

The 17-year-old midfielder has already made his debut in La Liga and is considered one of the most promising youngsters in the Spanish top flight.

Finn was born in Madrid but is eligible to represent Ireland through his late Mayo-born father. 

He is understood to have attracted interest from England and Spain, while he could also represent Cameroon, where his mother is from, but Ireland appear to have won the battle for his services, though an ankle injury has prevented his inclusion in the current U21 squad to face Wales.

“I’ve been speaking to John-Joe and his mother numerous times and he certainly wants to play for the Republic of Ireland,” Crawford said during a press conference today.

“Unfortunately, he picked up an injury a couple of days ago and is out for 10 or 12 days. That’s a little bit of disappointment for us and John-Joe.

“But the most important thing is that John-Joe gets himself fit and back playing again. We had a lot of conversations over the last number of weeks and they’ve all been positive.

“I’ve no doubt for the next window, if everything is fine, we’ll have John-Joe onboard.”

Elaborating on why Finn chose Ireland, Crawford pointed to the clear pathway of progression to the senior team that other young players such as Jayson Molumby, Adam Idah and Troy Parrott have benefited from.

“I say to players when I am talking to them on the phone, that there’s an opportunity now for players who are performing well at their club.

“I think the pathway to the senior team now is as strong as ever… You have the likes of Jason Knight, Jayson Molumby, Caoimhin (Kelleher), Gavin (Bazunu), it’s there for everyone to see now. There is an opportunity that if you are playing well at club level or you come into the U21s and do well, there is that opportunity of a senior call up.

“At the end of their day, if you are involved with a country that has a serious pool of players, if you are playing well with your club, there’s a possibility of a national call up but with Ireland I think there’s a probability that, let’s say you are a striker who is scoring goals, you will get a senior call up.

“It’s there for everyone to see, that it’s a strong pathway into the senior squad at the moment. I think it’s exciting.”

Crawford also spoke of Louie Watson, another player who could line out for more than one country, and has been included in his squad to face Wales.

Watson has already made a handful of appearances for Derby in the Championship, making his full debut for Wayne Rooney’s side earlier this week.

“I’ve watched all his games with Derby, I’ve got access to all their games,” said Crawford. “I’ve been doing nothing but looking at games on Wyscout and I’ve seen Louie playing. He’s an energetic player, loves getting on the ball, really good passing ability, scoring from long range.


Get closer to the stories that matter with exclusive analysis, insight and debate in The42 Membership.

Become a Member

“I’m really looking forward to working with him. He’s a talent. And again, it’s important here we coach the potential of the player. It’s a real opportunity for him coming into the Irish 21s and he’s somebody I think will play a big part for us going forward.”

Watson previously lined out for England at underage level before switching to Ireland, and Crawford is confident that the 19-year-old will now stick with the Boys in Green for the long haul, as with Finn, citing the clear pathway to the senior set-up as part of the attraction.

Ireland squad for Wales friendly on 26 March: 

Goalkeepers: Brian Maher (Bray Wanderers), Dan Rose (Schalke 04)

Defenders: Shane Flynn (Leicester City), Andy Lyons (Bohemians), Mark McGuinness (Ipswich Town on loan from Arsenal), Oisin McEntee (Newcastle United), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Lee O’Connor (Tranmere Rovers on loan from Celtic), Mason O’Malley (Scunthorpe United), Lewis Richards (Wolves).

Midfielders: Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Conor Grant (Rochdale), Dawson Devoy (Bohemians), Alex Gilbert (Brentford), Conor Noss (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Louis Watson (Derby County).

Forwards: Jonathan Afolabi (Dundee on loan from Celtic), Will Ferry (Southampton), Gavin Kilkenny (Bournemouth), Joshua ‘JJ’ Kayode (Carlisle United on loan from Rotherham United) Ademipo Odubeko (West Ham United), Tyreik Wright (Walsall on loan from Aston Villa).

Murray Kinsella, Bernard Jackman and Gavan Casey preview Ireland’s game against England and try to figure out where this team is going under Andy Farrell, if anywhere:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel