Watts in action for UCD last season. Tommy Dickson/INPHO
bright spark

Leicester teen Watts included in Ireland U21 squad for Czech and Slovakia friendlies

The 22-man squad are off to Spain to prepare for the U21 European Championship qualifiers.

IRELAND UNDER 21 boss Noel King has included Leicester City midfielder Dylan Watts, signed from UCD this season, in a 22-man squad for friendlies against Czech Republic and Slovakia this month.

Also included in the group are SSE Airtricity League representatives Ciaran O’Connor, Ronan Curtis, Sean Heany, Jamie McGrath and, from Walsall, Liam Kinsella – son of 48 cap midfielder Mark.

“There has been a steady flow of League players in our squads,” says King, “which shows that the League is producing players and that they are there on merit.”

The two fixtures will form the focus of a five-day training camp for King’s squad in La Manga in preparation for the 2019 U21 European Championship qualifying campaign.

Coventry City v Walsall - Sky Bet League One - Ricoh Arena Kinsella in action for Walsall last season Paul Harding Paul Harding

“This camp is an opportunity to get to know the players, their characters, and if they are best suited to our style and playing international football, which is very important.

“The more time we get with the players the quicker we get to know our strongest team. So we will use this time to make assessments over these players and hope that we rise to the challenge of the games.”

Ireland U21 squad for Spain training camp:

Goalkeepers: Liam Bossin (Anderlecht), Kieran O’Hara (Manchester United)

Defenders: Noe Baba (Birmingham City), Danny Kane (Huddersfield Town), Ryan Sweeney (Stoke City), Sean Heaney (Shamrock Rovers), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Corey Whelan (Liverpool), Shaun Donnellan (West Bromwich Albion), Dylan Barnett (Brighton & Hove Albion).

Midfielders: Josh Cullen (Bradford City), Jack Byrne (Blackburn Rovers), Ronan Curtis (Derry City), Dylan Watts (Leicester City), Connor Dimaio (Chesterfield), Liam Kinsella (Walsall), Jamie McGrath (St Patrick’s Athletic), Harry Charsley (Everton).

Forwards: Tyrone Duffus (Everton), Olamide Shodipo (Queens Park Rangers), Ciaran O’Connor (Dundalk), Jake Mulraney (Inverness Caledonian Thistle).

‘I’m sure he’s thinking he’s got a great chance of starting’

Quiz: How well do you know Austrian football?

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