Luca Connell called-up to Ireland squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers

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Mick McCarthy has called-up Luca Connell to the Republic of Ireland squad for next month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar.

The call-up will be a boost for Connell after his club, Bolton Wanderers, went into administration following their relegation from the Championship.

The 18-year-old Liverpool native won a place in the Bolton team towards the end of the season.

Connell will travel to a training camp in Faro, Portugal, as part of a 23-man squad, which will expand to 27 upon their return with the addition of four players involved in the play-offs.

“Luca deserves this opportunity,” said McCarthy in a statement.

“With midfielders Conor Hourihane, Glenn Whelan and Josh Cullen all on play-off duty with their clubs in the coming weeks, this is the perfect chance to get Luca into the squad.

“He has had a fine season with Bolton playing 15 times in total and even with their relegation troubles, he has impressed so many people.

I know a number of big clubs have sent scouts to watch him so this is a chance to get him in to work with the senior players and see how he gets on.

Also included is Norway-based goalkeeper Sean McDermott, who comes in for injured Manchester United stopper Kieran O’Hara.

Preston North End duo Callum Robinson and Alan Browne, Bristol City’s Callum O’Dowda, and Southampton striker Shane Long all travel to Portugal after returning to fitness, while Cardiff City defender Greg Cunningham and Aston Villa’s Scott Hogan feature under McCarthy for the first time.

Harry Arter, Jack Byrne, James Collins, and Aiden O’Brien miss out.

Richard Keogh, Hourihane, Whelan, and Cullen will join the squad in Dublin after their Championship and League One play-off finals.

“We will miss the lads in Portugal but we will be tuning into their games,” said McCarthy.

“I’m sure there will be divided loyalties when Glenn and Conor take on Richard but Josh might get a clean run at the support of the squad when Charlton play Sunderland.

“The benefit for us is that the four lads will be firing on all cylinders when they join up with the rest of the group in Dublin at the end of the month.”

Republic of Ireland Squad

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Mark Travers (Bournemouth), Sean McDermott (Kristiansund BK)

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), John Egan (Sheffield United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Greg Cunningham (Cardiff City)

Midfielders: Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Luca Connell (Bolton Wanderers), Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic*), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth)

Forwards: David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), Shane Long (Southampton), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Callum Robinson (Preston North End)

*Indicates the player is on loan

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