U21 | Crawford names 26-man squad for friendlies in Austria
There are nine players who receive their first Under-21s call-ups - James Abankwah (Udinese), Killian Cahill (Brighton & Hove Albion), Conor Carty (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Dylan Duffy (Lincoln City), Sean Grehan (Crystal Palace), Jack Henry-Francis (Arsenal), Ed McJannet (Lecce), Rocco Vata (Celtic) and Harry Vaughan (Hull City).
Darragh Burns also returns to an Under-21s squad for the first time since March 2022.
The three games will be crucial preparation for Ireland’s U21 EURO qualifiers against Turkey and San Marino at home in September. Gabon U23s are due to take part in the U23s AFCON later this month while Ukraine will use their game against Ireland as final preparation for the U21 EUROs in Romania/Georgia also this month.
Looking ahead to the friendlies, Head Coach Jim Crawford said: “These three games will be important for the development of our squad. We’re playing three teams from three different continents and that brings an exciting challenge that not all Irish teams get exposure to. Two of the teams (Gabon and Ukraine) are about to compete in continental competitions with Kuwait playing at the Under-23s Asia Cup only last year - there’s a lot of quality in our opponents.
“I’m looking forward to it, it’s a chance for players to establish their place in the squad for the qualifiers in September and beyond. We won our first game as a group against Iceland and we want to use that as a platform for these upcoming games.”
Ireland Under-21s Squad
Goalkeepers: Tiernan Brooks (Notts County), Killian Cahill (Brighton & Hove Albion), Josh Keeley (Tottenham Hotspur)
Defenders: James Abankwah (Udinese), Tayo Adaramola (Crystal Palace), Sam Curtis (St. Patrick’s Athletic) James Furlong (Brighton & Hove Albion), Anselmo Garcia MacNulty (Wolfsburg), Sean Grehan (Crystal Palace), Connor O’Riordan (Crewe Alexandra), Sean Roughan (Lincoln City)
Midfielders: Darragh Burns (MK Dons), Jack Henry-Francis (Arsenal), Joe Hodge (Wolves), Bosun Lawal (Celtic), Ed McJannet (Lecce), Killian Phillips (Crystal Palace), Rocco Vata (Celtic) Harry Vaughan (Hull City)
Forwards: Sinclair Armstrong (QPR), Conor Carty (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Dylan Duffy (Lincoln City), Johnny Kenny (Shamrock Rovers, on loan from Celtic), Andrew Moran (Brighton & Hove Albion), Armstrong Oko-Flex (West Ham United), Ollie O’Neill (Derry City, on loan from Fulham)
Ireland Under-21s international friendly fixtures (All times are Irish Standard Time)
Tuesday, June 13 | Ireland U21 v Gabon U23, KO 5pm, venue TBC
Friday, June 16 | Ukraine U21 v Ireland U21, KO 5pm, venue TBC
Monday, June 19 | Ireland U21 v Kuwait U22, KO 4pm, venue TBC