PREVIEW | Ireland U21 v Iceland U21
More than 6,000 fans have secured their ticket for the first U21s game in Cork for 14 years with Head Coach Jim Crawford naming Wolverhampton Wanderers’ midfielder Joe Hodge as his captain.
Hodge is one of seven players out of squad of 22 who were previously capped at U21s level and they will be looking to start a new chapter with a positive result against an Iceland team who, like the young Boys in Green, reached the U21 EURO play-offs.
St. Patrick’s Athletic’s Sam Curtis has been called into the U21s squad from Tom Mohan’s U19s side and could feature in Sunday’s game.
Fixture: Republic of Ireland U21v Iceland U21
Date: Sunday, March 26
KO time: 4pm
Stadium: Turner’s Cross, Cork
Where to watch: Available worldwide with LOITV. Free to view with registration
Referee: Jamie Robinson (Northern Ireland)
Assistant: John Doherty (Northern Ireland)
Assistant: Brian Wilson (Northern Ireland)
Fourth Official: Rob Hennessey (Ireland)
Latest team news: Sam Curtis joins St. Pats’ teammate Jay McGrath in the Under-21s squad. Shelbourne’s Kian Leavy replaced Cork City’s Matt Healy, who was ruled out earlier this week. Connor O’Riordan (Crewe Alexandra) is a doubt for the game.
Ticket news: Tickets are available from Ticketmaster priced €10 for adults, €5 for children and a family ticket is €20 (two adults, two children). The final few tickets remain so fans are advised to buy online to avoid disappointment. You can purchase them here.
Republic of Ireland Under-21 Head Coach Jim Crawford said: "I'm very excited for the game. There are a lot of talented players in the squad and I'm excited to work with them. We're expecting a big crowd and in the build up to the game you get the sense of excitement from the Cork public. Iceland will be a tough team and have several players who appeared for their senior team but we look forward to the challenge."
Republic of Ireland Under-21 Captain Joe Hodge said: "Everyone is buzzing to play in Turner's Cross, they're switched on, they're ready and looking forward to Sunday. I've spoken to Jimmy (Corcoran) and a few players who have played in Cork and they all say it's special so we hope we can make it a special occasion."
Republic of Ireland Under-21s Squad
Goalkeepers: Tiernan Brooks (Notts County), Jimmy Corcoran (Cork City), Josh Keeley (Tottenham Hotspur)
Defenders: Tayo Adaramola (Crystal Palace), Sam Curtis (St. Patrick’s Athletic), 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)