Saturday 24 August 2019

Mohan hopeful Parrott can take flight with U-19s

Republic of Ireland U-19 head coach Tom Mohan. Photo: Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland U-19 head coach Tom Mohan. Photo: Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Ireland U-19 team boss Tom Mohan is still playing a waiting game with English clubs as he plots a course for the European Championships.

However, he has not given up on the chances of Premier League prospects Lee O'Connor (Manchester United) and Troy Parrott (Spurs) being part of the squad when his men kick off their campaign in the Finals in Armenia next week.

Mohan's squad pulled off a major achievement in qualifying for the event, but preparations for the tournament have been anything but smooth. Because the Finals do not fall during the official FIFA calendar, clubs are not obliged to release players.

Stoke City had already stated that they didn't want Dubliner Nathan Collins to travel to Armenia as they required him for pre-season training with the first team - the 18-year-old is hoping to build on a strong finish to last season, where he made three Championship appearances.

Norwich City also pulled rank on striker Adam Idah and insisted he stay in England for their pre-season, while Luca Connell's move from Bolton to Celtic ruled him out for Armenia, as the midfielder was named in the Bhoys squad for the Champions League campaign which starts tonight in Bosnia.

There was a further blow this week when Southampton included Irish teens Will Smallbone and Michael Obafemi in their squad for a tour of Austria, meaning they miss out on Armenia, although Obafemi had played no part in qualifying with the U-19s.

Home-based players from the squad will travel to London today and meet up with players from UK clubs before the squad fly to Yerevan tomorrow.

Mohan hopes Waterford-born defender O'Connor will be allowed travel as he did not make the United squad for their pre-season tour of Australia and talks are ongoing with Spurs over Parrott, as well as with Derby County over the possible release of Jason Knight.

Irish Independent

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