Donegal Town player in Irish U18 squad for Slovakia Cup

Republic of Ireland Under 18 Head Coach Jim Crawford has named Jack Keaney in his squad for the forthcoming Slovakia Cup tournament.
The Abbey Vocational School student plays his club football with Sligo Rovers. He made his first competitive start of the Bit O’Red against Finn Harps in the EA Sports Cup on Monday evening.
Crawford’s team will be participating in an eight-team tournament and have been grouped with Czech Republic, Russia and Turkey with a classification game also involved and the manager is confident that the squad which travels to Slovakia can give a good account of themselves and show that they can be options for Tom Mohan at U19 level next season.
“I see this as a tournament that will give an opportunity to those players who haven’t been involved before to show myself and Tom Mohan where they’re at presently,” said Crawford.
“It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t bring the likes of Declan Rice, Canice Carroll, Jayson Molumby and Tyreke Wilson who were involved at the U19 Elite but it’s also a great satisfaction for them to have progressed to that level.
“I was also considering maybe promoting some of the U17s but its great for them and Colin O’Brien that they’ve qualified for the EURO finals so we can have no complaints about not having access to those players.
“Having said that, this is a great chance for the likes of Shola Ayoola, Michael Obafemi, Callum Nicell and Callum Mollett to play for Ireland and make an impression upon Tom Mohan, who will be at the tournament also.
“It is also pleasing that we’ve a few more home-based players involved including Alec Byrne, Dean Dillon, James McSweeney and Jack Keaney who’ve been playing very well at their clubs recently to represent themselves, their clubs and the league at this tournament,” he said.

Republic of Ireland U18 Squad

Goalkeepers: Mark Travers (Bournemouth), Edward McGinty (Sligo Rovers)
Defenders: Alec Byrne (Cork City), Aaron O’Driscoll (Southampton), Warren O’Hora (Bohemians), James McSweeney (Cobh Ramblers), Rian O’Sullivan (Brighton & Hove Albion), Callum Mollett (Walsall)
Midfielders: Anthony Scully (West Ham United), Dan McKenna (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Jack Keaney (Sligo Rovers), Callum Nicell (Leeds United), Stephen Mallon (Sheffield United)
Forwards: Aidan Keena (St Patrick’s Athletic), Kian Flanagan (Crystal Palace), Dean Dillon (Shamrock Rovers), Michael Obafemi (Southampton), Thomas Byrne (Drogheda United), Shola Ayoola (Stoke City)


Monday, April 24: Czech Republic v Republic of Ireland, Modranka (KO 14:00)
Tuesday, April 25: Republic of Ireland v Russia, Dunajska Luzna (KO 10:00)
Thursday, April 27: Republic of Ireland v Turkey, Dunajska Luzna (KO 10:00)
Friday, April 28: Classification match, TBC

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