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Teenagers Parrott and Collins included in provisional Ireland squad for crunch Euro 2020 qualifier

There is also a first call-up for ex-Cork City player Kieran Sadlier.

Tottenham's Troy Parrott has previously represented Ireland at underage level.
Tottenham's Troy Parrott has previously represented Ireland at underage level.
Image: Simon Stacpoole/INPHO

Updated at 16.48

TEENAGERS TROY PARROTT and Nathan Collins have been included in the provisional 40-man Ireland squad for upcoming games against Switzerland and Bulgaria.

There is also a first call-up for ex-Cork City player Kieran Sadlier, after an impressive start to the season with League One outfit Doncaster.

James McCarthy, who recently made the move from Everton to Crystal Palace, makes a Mick McCarthy squad for the first time. After a prolonged absence through injury, he could be set to make his first appearance for his country since October 2016.

Shamrock Rovers’ Jack Byrne and Southampton’s teenage striker Michael Obafemi also make the cut for the home fixtures, which take place on 5 and 10 September.

“I dont know what’s going to happen between now and the next couple of games,” Ireland boss McCarthy told FAI TV. “We’ve got Saturday games, Tuesday games, Saturday and then the Saturday before me meet up. Players could get injured before we meet up.”

He added that he expected a tough challenge from Nations League semi-finalists Switzerland: ”Switzerland are a good side. They have been in the higher echelons of the top teams in Europe for the last number of years.”

On youngsters Parrott, Obafemi and Collins, McCarthy added that they were more likely to feature for the U21 side next month: “I spoke to [Ireland U21 boss] Stephen Kenny yesterday and told him I’ve got those three players in the squad, but I said I’m only going to keep them if I’m going to play them.

Troy got a lot of interest in the summer because of the pre-season friendlies and at the time, I didn’t want to be pouring cold water on it. Pre-season friendlies are exactly that — maybe they hadn’t signed anybody and wanted to have a look at him, because they deprived [Ireland U19 boss] Tom Mohan of his services. That was purely them having a look at him.

“He wasn’t in the starting lineup [for Tottenham in their Premier League opener], wasn’t even on the subs’ bench, nowhere to be seen. I’m hoping that’s not going to be the case, it would be lovely to have a Premier League footballer, but equally, they need results and they’re not looking to try players out. So those three players will all go with Stephen if I’m not going to play them, but me announcing them in the squad gives us that opportunity.

“But more than likely they’ll play with Stephen in the 21s, because I don’t want to deprive him of their services, because they want to qualify for their tournament.”

McCarthy also reserved high-praise for new call-up Doncaster Rovers’ Sadlier.

“Grant McCann was there, he rang me last year… He said he’s doing really well, he’s only going to get better.

“I’ve been looking at their games. He’s scored in pre season, he’s scored a couple of goals since. Darren Moore is their coach. TC [Terry Connor] spoke to him yesterday and he’s really pleased with him. We’ll be having him watched and we’ll get to watch him ourselves.”

McCarthy added that he was “delighted” to see James McCarthy sign for Palace, and hoped he could get back playing regularly at Premier League level.

One player not included, however, is Birmingham’s Dan Crowley, who Ireland have watched play in the Championship and McCarthy said he had done “reasonably well” so far.

However, his eligibility is still being finalised, so Ireland must continue to monitor the situation before they can call on his services.

“We’ve got to make sure that he is fully qualified to play for us. If he is, we’ll continue to watch him.”

Ireland squad to face Switzerland and Bulgaria:

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth), Kieran O’Hara (Burton Albion, on loan from Manchester United)

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion), Richard Keogh (Derby County), John Egan (Sheffield United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Nathan Collins (Stoke City), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Greg Cunningham (Blackburn Rovers, on loan from Cardiff City), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers), Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers). Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United)

Midfielders: Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Glenn Whelan (Heart of Midlothian), Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic, on loan from West Ham United), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Alan Browne (Preston North End), James McClean (Stoke City), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), James McCarthy (Crystal Palace), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), Harry Arter (Fulham, on loan from AFC Bournemouth), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), Kieran Sadlier (Doncaster Rovers)

Forwards: Callum Robinson (Sheffield United), Scott Hogan (Stoke City, on loan from Aston Villa), Shane Long (Southampton), Michael Obafemi (Southampton), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), James Collins (Luton Town), Aiden O’Brien (Millwall), Troy Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur), Sean Maguire (Preston North End)

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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