Joe Hodge named Ireland U21 Captain
Joe, who made his debut for the Under-21s against Israel last September, will lead the young Boys in Green in their International Friendly against Iceland this Sunday at Turner’s Cross, Cork.
He has represented Ireland since 2017 playing for the MU15, MU16, MU17 and MU19 age grades notably scoring against the Czech Republic in the UEFA European Under-19 Championships in 2019.
Speaking about the captaincy, the Wolverhampton Wanderers man, said: “Obviously it's an honour to be captain of your country at Under-21s but I'm buzzing and can't wait to get going.
"It's not about one person being the leader, you need a team of leaders. It was like that in the last campaign with Conor Coventry, Lee O'Connor and Brian Maher, to name a few, and if we show anything like they did in this campaign we'll be set well."
Head Coach Jim Crawford added: "I've long been a big admirer of Joe and he is one of a number of players in this squad who played with us in the last campaign. He'll be able to share that experience with this new group of players and show those leadership qualities. Joe has had a fantastic season with his club and I'm excited to see him captain his country."
Jim Crawford also confirmed that Shelbourne's Kian Leavy and St. Patrick's Athletic's Jay McGrath have been called into the squad. Cork City's Matt Healy (on loan from Ipswich Town) misses out due to injury.
More than 5,000 fans have already secured their seat for the game in Cork – a first U21s international in the city for 14 years.
Tickets are available from Ticketmaster priced €10 for adults, €5 for children with a family ticket priced €20 (two adults and two children). They can be purchased here
Republic of Ireland Under-21s Squad
Goalkeepers: Tiernan Brooks (Notts County), Jimmy Corcoran (Cork City), Josh Keeley (Tottenham Hotspur)
Defenders: Tayo Adaramola (Crystal Palace), Festy Ebosele (Udinese), James Furlong (Motherwell, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion), Anselmo Garcia MacNulty (NAC Breda, on loan from Wolfsburg), Jay McGrath (St. Patrick's Athletic, on loan from Coventry City), Connor O’Riordan (Crewe Alexandra), Sean Roughan (Lincoln City)
Midfielders: Cian Hayes (Fleetwood Town), Joe Hodge (Wolves), Bosun Lawal (Celtic), Kian Leavy (Shelbourne, on loan from Reading), Killian Phillips (Shrewsbury Town, on loan from Crystal Palace)
Forwards: Sinclair Armstrong (QPR), Tom Cannon (Preston North End, on loan from Everton), Johnny Kenny (Shamrock Rovers, on loan from Celtic), Andrew Moran (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ollie O’Neill (Derry City, on loan from Fulham), Armstrong Oko-flex (West Ham United)
International Friendly Fixture
Sunday, March 26 | Ireland U21 v Iceland U21, Turner’s Cross, Cork, KO 4pm (live on LOTV)