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Smith 'too tired' to play for Ireland's U-19s

CONNOR SMITH has informed Ireland U-19 manager Paul Doolin that he is "too tired" to play in the UEFA Championship elite qualifiers in Portugal later this month.

Mullingar native Smith, who is on Watford's books, was one of seven players from last season's squad, which reached the U-19 Euro finals, to be included again.

However, Doolin confirmed: "Connor says he's not feeling great and wouldn't be able to go. He's been on loan (at Ryman League club Wealdstone), playing twice per week, and seems to feel very tired.

"Of course, it's disappointing, but it's probably for the best that he doesn't go. With only 16 outfield players in the squad, we can't carry anyone who isn't 100pc up for it."

Anthony Forde (Wolves) and Samir Carruthers (Aston Villa), who both played in the Premier League this season, are both included in the squad.

French-based goalkeeper Niall Burdon of Stade Rennais has been drafted in to replace the injured Alan Smith of Rangers, while Bohemians defender Michael Barker is the only home-based player to make the cut.

Irish Independent