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Strong League of Ireland presence as latest U21 squad announced ahead of crucial games

A quartet of players currently plying their trade domestically are included.

Image: Tommy Dickson; ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson/INPHO

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND Under-21 boss Noel King has included four players from the League of Ireland in his latest squad for crucial upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Norway and Israel.

Shamrock Rover’s Trevor Clarke is included along with Galway United’s Rory Hale and they join Ronan Curtis from Derry City in the 24-man group.

Ryan Delaney is another player who’s plying his trade domestically. The defender is currently on loan with Cork City from Burton Albion.

There are some others additions, with Aston Villa’s Jake Doyle Hayes and Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Dessie Hutchinson both selected.

QPR’s Olamide Shodipo and Chesterfield midfielder Connor Dimaio both return from injury too.

King’s side have started their campaign for the 2019 tournament with two wins from their opening two fixtures against Kosovo and Azerbaijan respectively and are sitting pretty at the top of Group 5.

But, with Germany the favourites to win the group, it’s likely that the Irish will be directly competing with both Norway and Israel for a best runners-up spot.

The Norwegians already suffered a blow in their first game when their 5-0 win over Kosovo was later ruled as a 3-0 Kosovo victory after the Norwegians selected an illegible player.

In the return fixture, Norway then lost 3-2 before they drew 0-0 with Israel to register their first points of the campaign.

Noel King Source: Tom Beary; ©INPHO/Tom Beary/INPHO

So, already with ground to make up, they’ll be desperate to push hard in Dublin.

That game takes place at the Tallaght Stadium on Thursday 5 October while Ireland will host Israel at the same venue the following Monday.

Republic of Ireland U21 squad to face Norway and Israel

Goalkeepers: Kieran O’Hara (Manchester United), Liam Bossin (Nottingham Forest).

Defenders: Danny Kane (Huddersfield), Ryan Sweeney (Stoke City, on loan at Bristol Rovers), Shaun Donnellan (West Bromwich Albion, on loan at Walsall), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Corey Whelan (Liverpool), Ryan Delaney (Burton Albion, on loan at Cork City), Trevor Clarke (Shamrock Rovers)

Midfielders: Josh Cullen (West Ham, on loan at Bolton Wanderers), Harry Charsley (Everton), Conor Shaughnessy (Leeds United), Liam Kinsella (Walsall), Jake Mulraney (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Connor Ronan (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Olamide Shodipo (QPR), Connor Dimaio (Chesterfield), Rory Hale (Galway United), Jake Doyle Hayes (Aston Villa), Dessie Hutchinson (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Attackers: Reece Grego Cox (QPR), Ryan Manning (QPR), Ronan Curtis (Derry City), Joe Quigley (Bournemouth, on loan at Newport County).

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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