| 4.8°C Belfast

Kenny believes Idah can add a whole new dimension to attack

Nations league

Close

All set: Stephen Kenny has named his first Republic squad

All set: Stephen Kenny has named his first Republic squad

�INPHO/Ryan Byrne

All set: Stephen Kenny has named his first Republic squad

Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny has challenged teenage striker Adam Idah to prove he is the real deal as he prepares to step on to the senior international stage.

The 19-year-old Norwich frontman has been included in new manager Kenny's first squad for next month's Nations League fixtures against Bulgaria and Finland, having excelled both in his Under-21s squad and at younger age group level.

Asked about Idah, Kenny said: "Adam has been quite prolific for Ireland coming through the age groups.

"He's got a lot of characteristics of a centre-forward. He can play with his back to goal - we haven't had many players over the years for Ireland who could play with their back to goal and be genuinely quick, and he's got genuine pace.

"If you go through our list of strikers over the years, we've had bigger lads who were good with their backs to goal, but not necessarily quick.

"He's still only learning the game - he has a 2001 birth date, he's still eligible for Under-19s. He's shown a lot of potential and has all the attributes to be a really good centre-forward."

Brighton midfielder Jayson Molumby, who was Kenny's Under-21s captain, has also been called up for the first time to join Tottenham striker Troy Parrott and Brighton's Aaron Connolly in a significantly re-shaped squad compared with the Mick McCarthy era.

On Molumby, Kenny said: "I like the chaotic nature of what he brings, I think that energises the rest of the team. It will be competitive in the midfield, it's quite a strong area for us."

If there was joy for Idah and Molumby, there was disappointment for 20-year-old Southampton striker Michael Obafemi when he did not make the 23, to which Sheffield United striker David McGoldrick will be added after the game in Sofia.

A cryptic message on Obafemi's official Twitter account suggested his frustration, but Kenny said: "He's someone who hopefully has a big future with Ireland. Michael has to go into the Under-21s and do well at that level."

Squad: Darren Randolph (West Ham), Mark Travers (Bournemouth), Kieran O'Hara (unattached), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolves), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Shane Duffy (Brighton), John Egan (Sheffield United), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn), James McCarthy (Crystal Palace), Harry Arter (Fulham), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Alan Browne (Preston), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Jayson Molumby (Brighton), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Callum Robinson (Sheffield United), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke), Aaron Connolly (Brighton), Adam Idah (Norwich), Troy Parrott (Tottenham, on loan at Millwall), Shane Long (Southampton).

Belfast Telegraph