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International Call Ups!

This week has seen three of our first team squad receive international call ups, with Liam Scales and Neil Farrugia both called up to the Ireland under 21s, and Richie O'Farrell called up to the Ireland under 19s.FAI

Ireland under 21s

After their brilliant form, and impressing in the recent Ireland under 21s home based training camp, Liam Scales and Neil Farrugia have both been called up to Stephen Kenny's Republic of Ireland Under-21 side after he announced his squad for the UEFA U21 European Championships qualifier against Luxembourg.

Speaking after the announcement, Collie O'Neill expressed his delight at the news, and the reward for their hard work.

"It's a huge achievement to be called up to represent your country and one which they should be proud of. They've been brilliant for us and this is a reward for their performances and attitude. They were a key part of last season's title winning team, and have brought that form into this season, and if they can keep going the way they are then hopefully this will only be the start for them."

Ireland are set to face Luxembourg in their first game of the campaign at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday, March 24 with kick-off at 5pm. Tickets for the match are currently on sale at just €5 for adults and FREE for U18s, and FAI and Shamrock Rovers' Season Ticket Holders.

Kenny has named a 23-man squad which includes eight players from the SSE Airtricity League, with Liam Scales and Neil Farrugia being joined by Darragh Leahy and Dan Mandroiu of Bohemians, Waterford's Zach Elbouzedi and Aaron Drinan, Shamrock Rovers' Trevor Clarke and St. Patrick's Athletic midfielder Jamie Lennon in the squad.

Liverpool duo Caoimhin Kelleher and Conor Masterson, Manchester United's Lee O'Connor, Manchester City's Gavin Bazunu and Tottenham Hotspur's Troy Parrott have also received call-ups to the U-21 squad.

Another former UCD player has also been named in the squad, as Simon Power, currently on loan at Dutch second tier side FC Dordrecht from Norwich City, has been rewarded for his fine form with a call up. Connor Ronan, who plays for Slovakian side FC DAC 1904 on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, will also report for the squad on Monday, March 18.

The squad announcement follows news from the UEFA Executive Committee that the UEFA U21 European Championships finals tournament will expand from 12 teams to 16 teams. The finals, which are set to take place in Hungary and Slovakia in June 2021, will now have four further teams in the finals competition.

Republic of Ireland U21 squad v Luxembourg in full

Goalkeepers: Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Gavin Bazunu (Manchester City)

Defenders: Darragh Leahy (Bohemians), Dara O'Shea (Exeter City, on loan from West Bromwich Albion), Barry Cotter (Ipswich Town), Corey Ndaba (Ipswich Town), Conor Masterson (Liverpool), Lee O'Connor (Manchester United), Trevor Clarke (Shamrock Rovers), Liam Scales (UCD AFC)

Midfielders: Jayson Molumby (Brighton and Hove Albion), Jake Doyle Hayes (Cambridge United, on loan from Aston Villa), Connor Ronan (FC DAC 1904, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Jamie Lennon (St. Patrick's Athletic), Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Dan Mandroiu (Bohemians).

Attackers: Adam Idah (Norwich City), Troy Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur), Neil Farrugia (UCD AFC), Zach Elbouzedi (Waterford), Michael O'Connor (Linfield), Simon Power (FC Dordrecht, on loan from Norwich City), Aaron Drinan (Waterford, on loan from Ipswich Town).

Ireland under 19s

After captaining, and scoring for the Ireland under 21s in last months friendly, Richie O'Farrell has been rewarded for his good form for club and country with a call up to the Ireland under 19s side for their upcoming Elite qualifiers in Russia.

Since joining UCD on a soccer scholarship during the off season, Richie has went from strength to strength making 4 appearances in our five games so far this season, with a series of impressive performances. 

As a result of the international call ups, next week's SSE Airtricity League Premier Division tie against Cork City has been postponed with a new date to be announced in due course.

We would like to wish all of our internationals the very best of luck next week, and why not get down to the UCD Bowl on Friday night for our game against Finn Harps to see them off!