Wednesday 21 August 2019

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Kelleher & Drinan in U21 squad

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019 4:11pm

Two Cork players have been included in the Irish under 21 side that will take part in the famous Maurice Revello Toulon Tournament.

Mahon native Caoimhin Kelleher, who is currently third choice keeper at Liverpool, is in the 22 man squad along with Carrigaline's Aaron Drinan, an Ipswich Town player who is currently on loan with Waterford FC.

The tournament, which begins on 3 June, will see Ireland face Bahrain, China and Mexico in Group C in Provence, France. It will be the first time since 2002 that Ireland have competed in the tournament.

Dubliner Jason Knight is a new addition to Stephen Kenny's squad. The 18 year old, who was in the Derby County squad that beat Leeds United for their place in the Championship playoff final, was called up in place of the injured Jake Doyle Hayes. Stephen Mallon, who was on loan at A-League side Central Coast Mariners from Sheffield United last season, has also been called up by Kenny.

Brighton and Hove Albion striker Aaron Connolly also receives his first call-up having missed the Luxembourg win through injury while UCD goalkeeper Conor Kearns also comes into the squad having spent time with the squad in the home-based training camp in February.

Barnet midfielder Jack Taylor receives his first international call-up for Ireland whilst Canice Carroll, who was on loan at Swindon Town last season, has also been brought into the squad for the June tournament. The squad includes seven SSE Airtricity League players, including three from UCD AFC.

“We're extremely excited about going to the Toulon tournament and this is a fantastic opportunity for the players to express themselves in one of the most prestigious under-age international tournaments,” said Kenny.

“We've never qualified for the European Championships at under 21 level so this tournament represents the highest level we'd have played at and we're set to play Mexico, China and Bahrain's Olympic squads, as they prepare to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

“It's also crucially important that we continue to build momentum throughout the year after the win over Luxembourg and looking ahead to the qualifiers in October and November.

“I'm delighted to welcome into the squad the likes of Stephen Mallon, Canice Carroll, Jason Knight, Tyreke Wilson and Aaron Connolly who set up to under 21 international level for the first time, and also Jack Taylor, who comes into his first Ireland squad.”

Meanwhile, on the domestic front, Cork City will travel to Dublin this Friday as they face Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium, four days after their 1-0 win over UCD at the UCD Bowl in the SSE Airtricity League.

Rovers are currently on the same number of points (40) as league leaders Dundalk, with three goals separating the sides on goal difference, while Cork City are up to sixth place with 22 points, despite a 2-0 loss to Dundalk last Friday at Turner's Cross thanks to Monday night's win.

In the First Division, however, Cobh Ramblers are struggling for form, suffering a 3-2 loss to Limerick which sees them in eighth place in the table, with just three wins and three draws accounting for their 12 points.

Like City, they face a difficult assignment in Dublin on Friday night when they play Shelbourne at Tolka Park, who are in second place in the League with eight wins in 13 games, with Shels looking for their third win on the counce after beating Wexford and Athlone Town in the last two weeks. Kick-off for Ramblers is at 7.45pm while City kick-off against Rovers at 8pm.

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