King names squad for double-header Euro qualifier
NOEL KING has named his Republic of Ireland squad for the forthcoming UEFA Under-21 Championships qualifiers against Hungary and Turkey.
The Republic of Ireland will host Hungary at the Showgrounds, Sligo, on Thursday, September 1 (7.30pm) and then travel to Manisa on Tuesday, September 6 (5.00pm Irish).
King has included 15 of the players who featured in a 2-1 friendly victory over Austria at the Showgrounds earlier this month.
Senior international James McCarthy (Wigan Athletic) has been added to the squad with Adam Barton (Preston North End) and Sean Scannell (Crystal Palace) returning from injuries which ruled them out of the game against Austria.
King said: "James will be a good addition to our squad. We are building a competitive squad now and if everybody that is eligible for this age group was fit it would be one of the toughest decisions I've ever had just to name the squad.
"James played in the last competitive game for the under-21s against Estonia so he knows most of the players. He has a great pedigree and everybody knows the talent he possesses.
"We've named James in the squad and he is fit to play. Hopefully all of the players will come through their club fixtures this weekend and steer clear of injuries."
Rhys Murphy has been added to squad after receiving clearance from FIFA to represent the Republic of Ireland
King will be keen to see his side build on their impressive display against the Austrians last month but know that they face a tough test against the Hungarians first time out.
"It's always nice to get off to a good start in a qualifying group but nobody will be qualified on the first day. It's a lengthy process to reach the finals but we'll obviously be looking to start as well as possible," said the Irish boss.
"I've watched Hungary several times. I saw them at the Toulon tournament during the summer and have looked at quite a few DVDs.
They're an excellent side with players playing top division in their own country and the Bundesliga.
"The players enjoyed the Austria game and we were all delighted with how it went so we'll be looking to achieve a similar result and performance this time around."
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND UNDER-21 SQUAD:
Ian McLoughlin MK Dons FC
Aaron McCarey Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
Lanre Oyebanjo York City FC
Shane Duffy Everton FC
Gavin Gunning Dundee United FC
Rob Kiernan Wigan Athletic FC
Niall Canavan Scunthorpe United FC
Aidan White Leeds United FC
Richie Towell Celtic FC
Mark Connolly Bolton Wanderers FC
Adam Barton Preston North End FC
Conor Clifford Chelsea FC
James McCarthy Wigan Athletic FC
Jeff Hendrick Derby County FC
Aaron Doran Inverness CT FC
Robbie Brady Hull City FC (on loan from Manchester
Sean Scannell Crystal Palace FC
Joe Mason Cardiff City FC
Rhys Murphy Arsenal FC.