Stephen Kenny. Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Kenny forced into late call-ups as Irish U21s hit by raft of withdrawals

Liverpool’s Caoimhin Kelleher and Southampton’s Michael Obafemi are among five players who are out of the Armenia game next week.

STEPHEN KENNY’S IRISH U21s have been rocked by five late withdrawals from the squad for upcoming Euro 2021 qualifiers against Armenia and Sweden. 

Goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, defenders Trevor Clarke and Conor Masterson and forwards Neil Farrugia and Michael Obafemi have all been ruled out of the game with Armenia next Thursday, 14 November. 

The FAI did not clarify whether all five are unavailable for the subsequent home qualifier with Sweden on Tuesday, 19 November. 

Kenny has called in Manchester City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu to replace Kelleher, while Ross County forward Simon Power and Southampton defender Kameron Ledwidge are also called up. 

There are also first introductions to the U21 fold for defender Corey O’Keefe – on loan at Macclesfield from Birmingham – and West Ham striker Anthony Scully. 

Kenny is already without strikers Aaron Connolly and Troy Parrott, who have been called up to Mick McCarthy’s senior squad. 

Captain Jayson Molumby and defender Lee O’Connor are both suspended for the Armenia qualifier but will link up with the squad ahead of the Sweden match. 

Republic of Ireland U-21 squad (v Armenia)

Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Manchester City), Conor Kearns (UCD AFC).

Defenders: Thomas O’Connor (Gillingham, on loan from Southampton), Danny McNamara (Newport County, on loan from Millwall), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Liam Scales (UCD AFC), Nathan Collins (Stoke City), Corey O’Keefe (Macclesfield Town, on loan from Birmingham City), Kameron Ledwidge (Southampton).

Midfielders: Jason Knight (Derby County), Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Jack Taylor (Barnet), Jack Clarke (Aston Villa), Connor Ronan (DAC Dunajská Streda, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Dan Mandroiu (Bohemians).

Wingers: Zack Elbouzedi (Waterford), Gavin Kilkenny (AFC Bournemouth), Danny Grant (Bohemians), Simon Power (Ross County).

Forwards: Adam Idah (Norwich City), Aidan Keena (Hearts), Anthony Scully (West Ham United).

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