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Shiels gets Irish call


Rangers’ Matthew Shiels

Rangers’ Matthew Shiels

Rangers’ Matthew Shiels

Some Donegal connections have led to a call-up to the Republic of Ireland youth squad for Rangers striker Matthew Shiels, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

Ireland U18 team boss Jim Crawford had some interesting names in the squad named for a three-game friendly tournament in Spain later this month, with a first-ever summons to the Republic squad for Rory Brown, the Derry-born keeper from Wolves who has defected to the Republic from Northern Ireland's U17s.

Ibrox prospect Shiels had also been playing for another nation, winning U17 caps for his native Scotland, but he has been lured on board by the FAI and will wear green for the first time with the U18s.

A regular at youth level with Rangers, Shiels has come through the ranks at Ibrox but he is eligible for Ireland as his paternal grandparents, were both from Donegal. He has been involved with Rangers' development squad this term, playing in an IRN-BRU Cup tie and youth team games.

The youngster tweeted his joy at the news saying: "Delighted to be picked to play for the Republic of Ireland."

Ireland play Belgium (Thursday), Holland (Saturday) and Czech Republic (Monday).