Italy vs Republic of Ireland
- Minute by Minute Commentary
Ireland WU19: Squad announced for Italy double-header
Connell's side will travel to Rome, Italy for two international friendlies on Thursday, January 17 and Saturday, January 19 at the Olympic Center Giulio Onesti.
Kelly Brady, who plays for American side World Class, receives her first international call-up while there are also call-ups for Women's National League Goalkeeper of the Year Erica Turner and Brighton & Hove Albion's Megan Mackey.
Tiegan Ruddy misses out through injury as the squad begin their preparations for the UEFA European Championships Elite Round phase which take place in April. Ireland will face Spain, Serbia and Hungary as they look to qualify for the finals in Scotland in July.
Connell's squad cruised through the Qualifying Round last October against the Faroe Islands, Lithuania and Ukraine, scoring 13 goals in the three matches.
"We're really looking forward to testing ourselves against Italy and it should provide a valuable test with the qualifiers coming up in April," said WU19 Head Coach Connell.
"We're delighted to welcome Kelly Brady to the squad, her first call-up in international football, and the two friendlies will give me a great opportunity to use the full squad.
"It's important every player is working towards their very best with the Elite Round coming up in April. We've got fantastic competition for places with so many players playing so well across the Women's National League.
"These two games will give the players a real opportunity to cement their place in that Elite Round squad as we look forward to having a successful 2019."
Republic of Ireland WU19 Squad
Goalkeepers: Erica Turner (DLR Waves), Rachael Kelly (Shelbourne)
Defenders: Sadhbh Doyle (Galway Women's), Roisin McGovern (DLR Waves), Rachel Baynes (Galway Women's), Doireann Fahey (Wexford Youths), Aoife Slattery (Wexford Youths), Leah Brady (Galway Women's), Katie Burdis (DLR Waves)
Midfielders: Lucia Lobato (Galway Women's), Megan Mackey (Brighton & Hove Albion), Chloe Singleton (Galway Women's), Aoife Thompson (Galway Women's), Amy Boyle-Carr (Sion Swifts), Sinead Donovan (Galway Women's)
Forwards: Ciara Fowler (unattached), Alannah McEvoy (Shelbourne), Carla McManus (Kilkenny United), Keelin McEntee (DLR Waves), Kelly Brady (World Class)
Fixtures - International Friendlies
17/01: Italy v Republic of Ireland, Olympic Center Giulio Onesti, Rome, 1.30pm (2.30pm local time)
19/01: Italy v Republic of Ireland, Olympic Center Giulio Onesti, Rome, 10am (11am local time)