| 12.9°C Dublin

Shels star Connolly called to U-21 squad

SHELBOURNE star Dylan Connolly has been called up to the Ireland U21 squad for the first time for Thursday's friendly away to Norway.

Boss Noel King has lost four players from his original squad due to injury and club commitments.

Jack Grealish, who is again the subject of debate over his international allegiance after England U21 boss Gareth Southgate spoke of his interest in Grealish, has been pulled from the squad by Aston Villa as they want him for a behind-closed-doors game on Wednesday.

Bradley Gamrston (WBA), Will Hayhurst (Preston) and Colin Wilkinson (Bolton, on loan to Oldham) are also out of the U21 panel.

As replacements, King has called in Kenneth McEvoy (Spurs, on loan to Peterborough), Philip Roberts (Dundee), Sean Kavanagh (Fulham) and Shels man Connolly.

The Reds player has starred for John McDonnell's side in Division One this season and Connolly, who was on trial at Bolton earlier this season, is expected to follow former Shels team-mate Adam McDonnell, now at Ipswich, with a cross channel move.

King says he was disappointed to lose four players from his original squad but is keen to see how the new faces fare, especially Roberts.

A former Arsenal prodigy, Roberts has been off the radar for some time but he is currently rebuilding his career in the SPL with Dundee.

"Philip is only 20 and he could have a big future so we are looking forward to working with him in Norway this week," says King.