Villa's Jack Clarke among thre...


Villa's Jack Clarke among three new faces in Republic of Ireland U21 squad

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Aston Villa midfielder Jack Clarke has earned his first call-up to the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad.

He's joined by fellow new call-ups - Hearts striker Aidan Keena and Gillingham's on-loan full-back Thomas O'Connor.

Stephen Kenny's side have back to back Euro qualifiers away to Armenia and at home to Sweden this month.

Kenny's without a host of trusted lieutenants for the upcoming double-header, with Troy Parrott called into Mick McCarthy's senior Ireland squad for the Euro 2020 qualifier with Denmark and friendly with New Zealand.

Captain Jayson Molumby and defender Lee O'Connor are both suspended for the game in Yerevan, but will link up with the squad before the Sweden game at Tallaght Stadium.

Bohemians defender Darragh Leahy, Celtic duo Luca Connell and Jonathan Afolabi will all miss both games due to injury.

Former Shamrock Rovers full-back Trevor Clarke - now at Rotherham - returns to the fold following injury for the first time since the game with Luxembourg back in March.

Ireland sit top of Group 1 of the UEFA Euro 2021 U21 qualifiers, despite last month's 1-0 defeat away to Iceland, but Kenny will be confident having already picked up wins over this month's opponents earlier in the group.

Tickets for the Sweden game in Tallaght are €5 for adults and free for U16s, FAI season ticket holders and Shamrock Rovers season ticket-holders.

Republic of Ireland U21 squad:

Goalkeepers: Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Conor Kearns (UCD AFC).

Defenders: Thomas O'Connor (Gillingham, on loan from Southampton), Danny McNamara (Newport County, on loan from Millwall), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Conor Masterson (QPR), Liam Scales (UCD AFC), Nathan Collins (Stoke City), Trevor Clarke (Rotherham).

Midfielders: Jason Knight (Derby County), Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Jack Taylor (Barnet), Jack Clarke (Aston Villa), Connor Ronan (DAC Dunajská Streda, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Danny Mandroiu (Bohemians).

Wingers: Zack Elbouzedi (Waterford), Gavin Kilkenny (AFC Bournemouth), Neil Farrugia (Shamrock Rovers), Danny Grant (Bohemians).

Forwards: Adam Idah (Norwich City), Aidan Keena (Hearts), Michael Obafemi (Southampton).

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Adam Idah Conor Masterson Jayson Molumby Lee O'Connor Luca Connell Michael Obafemi Mick McCarthy Republic Of Ireland U21 Stephen Kenny Troy Parrott UEFA U21 European Championships

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