Obafemi included in Ireland un...


Obafemi included in Ireland under 21s squad for Italy game

Phil Egan
Phil Egan

12:13 2 Oct 2020

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Republic of Ireland under 21s manager Jim Crawford has named a 22-man squad for the UEFA Under-21 qualifier away to Italy later this month.

Southampton striker Michael Obafemi is included for the all-important trip to Italy on October 13th.

Southampton duo Will Ferry and Will Smallbone are included in the squad for the first time along with Carlisle United striker Joshua Kayode and Sligo Rovers goalkeeper Ed McGinty.

Five players come from the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, including Dundalk’s Darragh Leahy, fresh off helping his club qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.

Ireland are currently top of Group 1, three points ahead of Italy but Jim Crawford's side have played a game more.

Stephen Kenny was in charge when the two sides played out a scoreless draw at Tallaght Stadium in October of last year.

"We know the challenge that awaits us in Pisa", Crawford told FAI TV.

"Italy are top seeds in the group and we expect this to be the toughest game we have played so far.

"Our squad is very experienced, and includes senior internationals like Lee and Michael.

"The squad worked hard in last month’s Training Camp and I look forward to getting the group together next week before we travel to Italy."

Republic of Ireland Under-21 Squad:

Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Rochdale, on loan from Manchester City), Ed McGinty (Sligo Rovers)

Defenders: Nathan Collins (Stoke City), Darragh Leahy (Dundalk), Conor Masterson (Queens Park Rangers), Danny McNamara (St Johnstone, on loan from Millwall), Lee O’Connor (Tranmere Rovers, on loan from Celtic), Thomas O’Connor (Southampton), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Liam Scales (Shamrock Rovers)

Midfielders: Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Will Ferry (Southampton), Jason Knight (Derby County), Daniel Mandroiu (Bohemians), Connor Ronan (Grasshopper Zurich, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Will Smallbone (Southampton), Jack Taylor (Peterborough United)

Attackers: Jonathan Afolabi (Dundee, on loan from Celtic), Zach Elbouzedi (Lincoln City), Neil Farrugia (Shamrock Rovers), Joshua Kayode (Carlisle United, on loan from Rotherham United), Michael Obafemi (Southampton)

UEFA Under-21 European Championship Qualifier - Group 1
 Ireland v Republic of Ireland, Arena Garibaldi, Pisa, 4.30pm (Irish time)

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