King names squad for UEFA U21 opener in Waterford
This game will mark the first game of the qualifying campaign for the UEFA U21 Championship finals in Poland. The tournament will contain an expanded field of 12 nations.
The nine group winners will qualify automatically for the 2017 finals. The four runners-up with the best records against the teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their group will go into the play-offs and be drawn into two ties to decide the last two qualifiers for the expanded 12-country finals.
“We are looking forward to the start of the new campaign. It’s important we get off to a good start and having a strong home support in Waterford will be very important,” said King.
“We’ve had a look at quite a few players over the past year and we will continue to look at all players who may be eligible to play for us.
“There are a couple of new additions to this squad who I’ve watched at their clubs over the past few months and we’re delighted that they have committed themselves to Ireland.
“Our aim is to qualify for the UEFA U21 Championships for the first time and make history. It won’t be easy as we are in a strong group – Serbia were the European Championships at this age-group at U19 level while Italy are the most successful U21 team ever in European competition so that speaks for itself.”
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND U21 SQUAD:
Daniel Rogers (Aberdeen FC)
Ian Lawlor (Manchester City FC)
Jack Connors (Dagenham & Redbridge FC)
Callum O’Dowda (Oxford United FC)
Bradley Garmston (West Bromwich Albion FC)
Niall Keown (Reading FC)
Lee Desmond (St Patrick’s Athletic FC)
Sean Kavanagh (Fulham FC)
Thomas Hoban (Watford FC)
Daragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers FC)
Glen Rea (Brighton & Hove Albion FC)
Alan Browne (Preston North End FC)
Matthew Hamilton (Wigan Athletic FC)
Jack Byrne (Manchester City FC)
Kenneth McEvoy (Tottenham Hotspur FC)
Dylan Connolly (Ipswich Town FC)
Shamir Goodwin(Brighton & Hove Albion FC)
Conor Wilkinson (Bolton Wanderers FC)
Thursday, March 26
UEFA U21 Championships 2017 Qualifying Round Group One
Republic of Ireland v Andorra, RSC, Waterford (7.45pm).
The full fixture list and dates are:
Thursday, 26th March 2015
Republic of Ireland v Andorra
Tuesday, 8th September 2015
Andorra v Republic of Ireland
Friday, 9th October 2015
Republic of Ireland v Lithuania
Tuesday, 13th October 2015
Italy v Republic of Ireland
Friday, 13th November 2015
Lithuania v Republic of Ireland
Thursday, 24th March 2016
Republic of Ireland v Italy
Monday, 28th March 2016
Slovenia v Republic of Ireland
Friday, 2nd September 2016
Republic of Ireland v Slovenia
Tuesday, 6th September 2016
Serbia v Republic of Ireland
Friday, 7th October 2016
Republic of Ireland v Serbia
Click on the Soundcloud link above to hear an interview with Noel King from today's Press Conference.