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Stephen Kenny name-checks three midfielders who could feature in first Ireland squad - including U-21 star

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Jayson Molumby has captained the Ireland U-21 team during their impressive European qualification campaign and is in line for a senior call up. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Jayson Molumby has captained the Ireland U-21 team during their impressive European qualification campaign and is in line for a senior call up. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Jayson Molumby has captained the Ireland U-21 team during their impressive European qualification campaign and is in line for a senior call up. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Stephen Kenny has flagged an international recall for James McCarthy and Harry Arter as he hopes for more competition for places in his senior Ireland squad.

Kenny now is able to properly plan for the start of his career as Republic of Ireland manager after UEFA confirmed the date for the Euro 2020 playoff in Slovakia, on October 8th, after two games in the Nations League in September.

Due to Covic-19 restrictions, Kenny has been unable to attend matches but the return of the Premier League in England has been welcome, with squad members Enda Stevens, John Egan, David McGoldrick and Conor Hourihane all in action on the evening when the league restarted.

Kenny had previously stated his desire to revive the international career of Robbie Brady and he has also name-checked two players who have not been involved for some time, while also opening the door for the uncapped Jayson Molumby.

"The squad is there on merit but it's great to have players available for selection and increase the competition," Kenny told FAI TV.

"James McCarthy is an exceptional talent, the fact that he's played 22 games for Crystal Palace this year, we want to increase our options and if he can get a run of games without injury that would be great for him.

"Harry Arter hasn't featured in the campaign, apart from a few minutes away to Gibraltar, he played a few minutes. Harry has been in the system since U-16s with Ireland, he's having a good season with Fulham and we'll see how they go between now and the end of the season, whether they get promoted or not.

"Jayson Molumby captained the U-21s, he's trying to get Millwall promoted at the moment and it's good to increase our options and it's good to have a level of competition. Competition drives people to be even better and that's very important, to have that element of competition is exactly what we want."

Southampton striker Shane Long was another player who caught Kenny's eye before the sporting shutdown.

"Shane Long, for example, I saw Shane play for Southampton not long before the lockdown, he scored against Tottenham in the FA Cup in the new stadium and he scored a few goals in that period, so having the element of competition is important, we need competition in all areas," Kenny added.

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