Saturday 21 September 2019

Obafemi, Parrott and Collins called upon by Stephen Kenny for Ireland U21 duty

Southampton striker Michael Obafemi celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Carabao Cup second round win at Fulham. Photo: James Chance/Getty Images
Southampton striker Michael Obafemi celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Carabao Cup second round win at Fulham. Photo: James Chance/Getty Images
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Troy Parrott, Michael Obafemi and Nathan Collins are set to link up with the Ireland U21 squad next week after a discussion between Stephen Kenny and Mick McCarthy.

Parrott, Obafemi and Collins were named in McCarthy's initial 40 man provisional panel for the Euro 2020 showdown with Switzerland and the friendly with Bulgaria.

However, the senior boss had indicated that the youths were unlikely to be considered for a debut in the Swiss encounter - and would go with Kenny's group for their competitive matches with Armenia and Sweden if they weren't in his plans.

Kenny has included the trio in his final list after discussions with McCarthy.

Stephen Kenny has named his Ireland U21 squad for qualifiers against Armenia and Sweden
Stephen Kenny has named his Ireland U21 squad for qualifiers against Armenia and Sweden

Ireland's trimmed down 23 man panel for the senior matches will be confirmed in the morning.

"I spoke to Mick," said Kenny. "They are available for U21 selection and also on standby for the senior international team, all of those players."

Obafemi, Parrott and Collins have yet to feature under Kenny. Injuries have prevented Obafemi and Parrott from accepting calls, while Collins has moved through the age groups.

The 18-year-old defender has become Stoke's youngest ever captain in the past month.

Obafemi scored for Southampton against Fulham in the EFL Cup last night and there was also a breakthrough for Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah with Brighton and Norwich respectively.

Connolly was on the target against Bristol Rovers and Kenny is excited by his striking options with Celtic recruit Jonathan Afolabi completing the quintet.

Parrott is the youngest member of that contingent, but has generated the most hype. He suffered an injury scare for Tottenham last week but is expected to be fine.

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Troy Parrott. Photo: Sportsfile

"He's not been able to play that many matches in the calendar year," said Kenny.

"He's had a very good pre season which was a benefit to him. He's done brilliantly and the fact that Tottenham have him training with the first team all the time speaks brilliantly for his talent.

"It would be great for the Irish public to see him as well and all of the other attacking players."

Kenny had no update on the situation with Ryan Johansson, the Bayern Munich player who is waiting to find out if he is eligible to switch allegiance from Luxembourg to Ireland.

Bournemouth midfielder Gavin Kilkenny has been called into the panel and is expected to feature for Eddie Howe's side in their League Cup tie with Forest Green Rovers tonight.

Kenny has also drafted in English born Millwall defender Danny McNamara who is currently on loan at Newport County. The right back's family hails from Longford.

Ireland U21 Squad (v Armenia & Sweden)
 
Goalkeepers: Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Gavin Bazunu (Manchester City).

Defenders: Danny McNamara (Newport County, on loan from Millwall), Lee O'Connor (Manchester United), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Conor Masterson (QPR), Darragh Leahy (Bohemians), Nathan Collins (Stoke City), Liam Scales (UCD AFC).

Midfielders: Jayson Molumby (Millwall, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Jason Knight (Derby County), Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Jake Doyle-Hayes (Cheltenham Town, on loan from Aston Villa). Jack Taylor (Barnet), Dan Mandroiu (Bohemians), Gavin Kilkenny (AFC Bournemouth), Zack Elbouzedi (Waterford).

Forwards: Adam Idah (Norwich City), Jonathan Afolabi (Celtic), Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), Michael Obafemi (Southampton), Troy Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur).

Online Editors

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