INTERVIEW | Luca Connell speaks ahead of Australia game
Jim Crawford’s men face an Aussie team preparing for the Olympics in what will be the second game for the Boys in Green in their 10-day training camp.
Bohemians pair Andy Lyons and Ross Tierney as well as Lincoln City’s Sean Roughan are all available for selection after meeting up with the squad after the Switzerland game..
Celtic’s Luca Connell has spoken of the importance of the training camp to build team cohesion ahead of the 2023 European Under-21 Championship qualifiers in September. It was two years ago that Connell was invited to train with the Senior Team in Portugal under former Ireland Manager Mick McCarthy.
The midfielder told FAI TV that it’s important the Under-21s establish their style of play. He said: “It’s a new team and we’re still getting to know each other. It’s important to get away, have a few games, and understand each others’ strengths and where you need to help people out.”
Luca has been involved with the Ireland underage set-up since 2016 when he was part of the Under-16 squad that lifted the Victory Shield.
Speaking about his time with Ireland Luca added: “It’s crazy to be honest because you look back and we’ve still got some of the lads there who were with us in the Under-16s Oisin ( McEntee) and Mark (McGuinness) players like that but it’s good to know the new players in the system. It’s good to look back on the games we’ve played and the places we've been.”
Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad
Goalkeepers: Sam Blair (Norwich City), Brian Maher (Bray Wanderers), Dan Rose (Schalke 04)
Defenders: Festy Ebosele (Derby County), Shane Flynn (Leicester City), Andy Lyons (Bohemians), Oisin McEntee (Newcastle United), Mark McGuinness (Arsenal), Lewis Richards (Wolves), Sean Roughan (Lincoln City).
Midfielders: Luca Connell (Celtic), Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Alex Gilbert (Brentford), Conor Grant (Rochdale), Ryan Johansson (Sevilla), Conor Noss (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ross Tierney (Bohemians), Louie Watson (Derby County).
Forwards: Jonathan Afolabi (Celtic), Will Ferry (Southampton), Joshua ‘JJ’ Kayode (Rotherham United), Gavin Kilkenny (Bournemouth), Colm Whelan (UCD), Tyreik Wright (Aston Villa).
*Bosun Lawal (Watford) and Anselmo Garcia MacNulty (Wolfsburg) are part of the squad for training
Fixtures - International Friendlies (all times are Irish times)
- Australia v Republic of Ireland, June 2, KO 12:00, Marbella Football Centre, Marbella, Spain. (Live on Premier Sports 1/ FreeSports)
- Republic of Ireland v Denmark, June 5, KO 17:00, Dama de Noche Football Centre, Marbella, Spain. (To be shown at 21.30pm on Premier Sports 1)
- This is the second meeting between Ireland U21s and an Australian team. The first took place on May 23, 2008 in Malaysia. It ended in a 1-3 loss for Ireland.
- Should Conor Coventry play he will make his 40th appearance at underage level for Ireland. He first represented Ireland in April 2016 against Turkey.
- Mark McGuinness will reach 20 apperances for Ireland should he feature against Australia. His debut was in November 2016 against Northern Ireland.