Crawford names 22-man squad for Wales friendly
The next generation of U21 internationals feature first-time call-ups at this level for Conor Grant, Dawson Devoy, Shane Flynn, Alex Gilbert, Oisin McEntee, Conor Noss, Andrew Omobamidele, Ademipo Odubeko, Lewis Richards, Dan Rose, Louis Watson and Tyreik Wright.
Scunthorpe United’s Mason O’Malley is also included in an Irish international squad for the first time.
Bohemians pair Dawson Devoy and Andy Lyons (who was called-up to the homebased squad in 2019 but remains uncapped) join Bray Wanderers’ Brian Maher as the three players selected from the League of Ireland.
Jim Crawford’s new-look squad will meet-up in the UK next week as part of a four-day training camp and friendly at Colliers Park in Wrexham.
Irish fans will be able to view the game on Friday, March 26, via the Football Association of Wales’ social media channels with kick-off at 1pm.
Speaking about his selection, Jim Crawford said: “This is an exciting group and myself and the coaching staff are really looking forward to working with them.
“It’s an opportunity for those coming into the Under-21s for the first time to see what it means to compete at this level and the standards that are required.
“I’ve no doubt the players who have already been in with us will welcome the new faces. Many would have played together for Ireland at younger age groups and this helps their transition to Under-21s international football."
The Wales friendly will be the first look at Crawford’s team ahead of a possible summer tournament and September’s Euro qualifiers away to Bosnia & Herzegovina and Luxembourg.
Crawford added: “I’m expecting the Wales game to be a tough test against a talented side.
“It’s our aim to qualify for the European Championships. We want to qualify in style by playing an attractive brand of football that we can all be proud of. Next week we go to work to achieve that.”
Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad
Goalkeepers: Brian Maher (Bray Wanderers), Dan Rose (Schalke 04)
Defenders: Shane Flynn (Leicester City), Andy Lyons (Bohemians), Mark McGuinness (Ipswich Town on loan from Arsenal), Oisin McEntee (Newcastle United), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Lee O’Connor (Tranmere Rovers on loan from Celtic), Mason O’Malley (Scunthorpe United), Lewis Richards (Wolves).
Midfielders: Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Conor Grant (Rochdale), Dawson Devoy (Bohemians), Alex Gilbert (Brentford), Conor Noss (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Louie Watson (Derby County).
Forwards: Jonathan Afolabi (Dundee on loan from Celtic), Will Ferry (Southampton), Gavin Kilkenny (Bournemouth), Joshua ‘JJ’ Kayode (Carlisle United on loan from Rotherham United) Ademipo Odubeko (West Ham United), Tyreik Wright (Walsall on loan from Aston Villa).
Fixture | Wales U21 vs Republic of Ireland U21
Date | Friday, March 26
Kick-Off | 1pm
Venue | Colliers Park, Wrexham, Wales
Where to watch | www.facebook.com/fawales and www.youtube.com/fawales