Who are the newest faces in Ireland’s u21 squad ?

Jim Crawford has named his squad for the upcoming 2025 European u21 Championship qualifier away to San Marino this Friday.

Crawford’s men currently sit second in their group, a point adrift of Italy and a point ahead of Norway, with qualification hopes still firmly in their own hands.

Four uncapped players have been named in the 24-man squad, here is a breakdown of each of them:

Alex Murphy – Newcastle United
Alex Murphy is one of the country’s best prospects at left back and has continued his meteoric rise from starring for Galway United in the League of Ireland First Division to making his Premier League debut. Murphy was called up to the last u21 camp in August last year but pulled out due to injury and as such is still yet to make his u21 bow. The Galway man has since made his senior debut for Newcastle, coming off the bench in their 4-1 win over Chelsea in November. Murphy has featured 12 times on the Newcastle bench this season, and will certainly add to Crawford’s impressive options at left back with Sean Roughan and Tayo Adaramola also named in the squad. 

Andrew Wogan – Drogheda United
Like Murphy, Andrew Wogan is another who has came up through the League of Ireland academy system and is now starring as first choice keeper for Drogheda. Wogan, who is still just 18, broke into the Drogheda starting eleven last June, and has held the number one jersey ever since. The Ardee native has played every minute for his club this season, keeping one clean sheet in what has been a disappointing start to the season so far for Kevin Doherty’s men.

Calum Kavanagh – Bradford City
Calum Kavanagh is the only player out of these four to have not came up through the Irish system, with Kavanagh coming up through the Middlesborough academy. Son of former Irish international Graham Kavanagh, he is yet to feature for Ireland since u17 level.  Surprisingly the 20-year-old centre-forward signed for Bradford in League Two in January on a permanent deal.One could argue that the striker was unlucky to have not been given a chance at Middlesborough considering his impressive form in Premier League 2, scoring five times and assisting once in eight games. Kavanagh has impressed for ‘The Bantams’, scoring twice and registering one assist in eight league games since his move in January.

Mark O’Mahony – Brighton
Mark O’Mahony is another who has excelled in the Premier League 2 this season, scoring 10 times across eleven matches for Brighton’s u21 side. The former Cork City player is just 88 days older than current Irish international and Brighton star boy Evan Ferguson, and has been named on the Brighton bench five times this season. The Carrigaline native has been extremely prolific for Ireland across all age groups, scoring 13 goals in 17 games from u17 level to u19 level.


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