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Ryan Byrne/INPHO King's side are unlikely to make the finals.
# Next generation
Anderlecht goalkeeper and highly-rated QPR winger named in Ireland U21 squad for Euro qualifiers
Noel King’s side take on Slovenia and Serbia at the start of next month.

Updated at 18:25

IRELAND U21 MANAGER Noel King has drafted in a host of new names in the 21-man squad to take on Slovenia and Serbia for next month’s European qualifiers.

Anderlecht’s Belgian-born goalkeeper Liam Bossin may get a chance to feature in his first qualifier at this level, as well as QPR’s winger Olamide Shodipo who impressed on his debut earlier this season for the Loftus Road club.

Shodipo was born in Dublin, but grew up in London, and has thought to have caught the interest of Nigeria, who he is also eligible to represent.

Everton’s Courtney Duffus also celebrates a first call-up, along with Jake Mulraney of Inverness.

Blackburn Rovers trio of Darragh Lenihan, Jack Byrne and new recruit Tommie Hoban are also included.

Sean Hoare of St Pat’s, Bray’s Dylan Connolly along with Cork City pair Kevin O’Connor and Sean Maguire make up the four League of Ireland representatives.

Sean Kavanagh and Darragh Lenihan will miss the Slovenia fixture through suspension but will be available for the game against Serbia four days later. While the likes of Ian Lawlor, Brian Lenihan, Niall Keown and Conor Wilkinson have been excluded from the squad through injury, with Callum O’Dowda named in Martin O’Neill’s senior squad.

Ireland welcome Slovenia to Waterford on Friday at 7.30pm, before travelling to Novi Sad to face Serbia the following Tuesday with a 5pm kick-off.

The Boys in Green currently sit in fourth place in Group 2, with three wins from seven games, but their chances of finishing in a possible play-off position look remote with Ireland six points behind Slovenia with three games to play.

“We’ve a tough period ahead with these two games and then the visit of Serbia in October. Slovenia are ranked ahead of us and showed over there that they are a good team but what was disappointing from our point of view was the fact that we conceded three goals from set pieces in that game,” King said.

“We have to look at that. We will look to correct it and will try to win this game on Friday. There is a lot of emotion around the game with us returning to Waterford for the first time without Milo Corcoran with us following his sad death earlier this week.

“We’ll all try to do the best we can for him. He was a man of high standards and will be a huge loss around the staff table and amongst the players, where he was very highly respected.

“We’re without a number of players but we’ve brought in some of the players born in 1996 and 1997 such as Olamide Shodipo and Jake Mulraney. We’ve also added Courtney Duffus from Everton as it’s important that we keep an eye on the present and the future at the same time.”

Ireland U21 squad to face Slovenia and Serbia


Daniel Rogers (Aberdeen – on loan at Falkirk)

Liam Bossin (RSC Anderlecht)


Tommie Hoban (Watford – on loan at Blackburn)

Kevin Toner (Aston Villa – on loan at Walsall)

Sean Hoare (St Patrick’s Athletic)

Glen Rea (Luton Town)

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Eoghan O’Connell (Celtic)

Sean Kavanagh (Fulham)

Kevin O’Connor (Cork City)


Joshua Cullen (West Ham – on loan at Bradford)

Alan Browne (Preston North End)

Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers)

Connor Dimaio (Chesterfield)

Jack Byrne (Man City – on loan at Blackburn)

Harry Charsley (Everton)

Jake Mulraney (Inverness Caley Thistle)

Dylan Connolly (Bray Wanderers)

Olamide Shodipo (QPR)


Sean Maguire (Cork City)

Courtney Duffus (Everton)

Reece Grego-Cox (QPR)

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