Saturday 19 October 2019

Aaron Connolly called into Mick McCarthy's Ireland squad for vital Euro 2020 double header

Brighton's Aaron Connolly celebrates after scoring his side's second goal
Brighton's Aaron Connolly celebrates after scoring his side's second goal

Harry Clarke

Aaron Connolly has been called into Mick McCarthy's Ireland squad for the crucial Euro 2020 double header against Georgia and Switzerland.

The call comes after the Galway man scored two goals on his first Premier League start for Brighton in their 3-0 win over Tottenham today. Blackburn defender Derrick Williams has also been called up.

"Aaron and Derrick will join up with the squad on Sunday after injuries to Ronan, Greg and Darragh," McCarthy told FAI.ie

"I have spoken to Aaron and Derrick and they are looking forward to meeting up with us. Aaron enjoyed his full debut for Brighton and we have been keeping a close eye on his progress this season.

"Derrick was in the extended 41-man squad for these games and playing regularly for Blackburn so this is his chance now."

Connolly has impressed for Stephen Kenny's Under-21s so far in this campaign while he also picked up the man of the match in today's win over Spurs.

"I am not sure it has all sunk in. It's a dream come true," Connolly told BT Sport after that win. "I love getting goals, I love being able to make my debut.

"It was a great performance from the start. We have performed well over the weeks, but not got the results. It was a brilliant performance and it was great to see it all come together."

Brighton boss Graham Potter was full of praise for Connolly, as he confirmed the youngster had been in his thoughts since he arrived at the club to replace Chris Hughton last summer.

"He's been knocking on the door and been unlucky not to score," stated Potter. "He gives us an extra dimension. I'm delighted for him, he is a young lad with a big future, but we are delighted we have got him with us. He took his goals really well especially his second which was a fantastic piece of attacking play."

Ireland play Georgia away next Saturday and Switzerland in Geneva the following Tuesday.

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