Belfast Telegraph

Republic call-up for Bolton star

 

Luca Connell
Luca Connell

By Daniel McDonnell

Two years after a surprise training camp invite for Declan Rice, another promising English-born player has received a call from a Republic of Ireland manager.

Bolton Wanderers' youngster Luca Connell will join Mick McCarthy's squad that arrives in Portugal this morning to spend a week together as the first part of preparations for June's Euro 2020 qualifiers with Denmark and Gibraltar.

The Republic Under-19 international is from Liverpool and has been the subject of transfer speculation this term after being one of the shining lights in a troubled year for the club.

"Luca deserves the opportunity," said McCarthy. "With midfielders Conor Hourihane, Glenn Whelan (both Aston Villa) and Josh Cullen (Charlton) all on play-off duty, this is the perfect chance to get Luca into the squad.

"He has had a fine season with Bolton, even with their relegation troubles.

"He has impressed so many people. I know a number of big clubs have sent scouts to watch him so this is a chance to get him in to work with the senior players and see how he gets on."

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Mark Travers (Bournemouth), Sean McDermott (Kristiansund BK)

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), John Egan (Sheffield United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Greg Cunningham (Cardiff City)

Midfielders: Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Luca Connell (Bolton Wanderers), Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic*), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth).

Forwards: David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), Shane Long (Southampton), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Callum Robinson (Preston North End)

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