Drennan ready to tackle Turkey

KILKENNY’S Mikey Drennan is all set to tackle Turkey.

KILKENNY’S Mikey Drennan is all set to tackle Turkey.

The Aston Villa striker has been called into the Republic of Ireland’s under-19 squad for the first time, with manager Paul Doolin naming Drennan in his 20-man squad for next week’s double-header friendly in Istanbul.

Ireland will play the first of two friendlies against Turkey at the Maltepe Stadium in Istanbul, next Tuesday. They will play the second match against the hosts two days later at the Pendik Stadium in Istanbul. Both games kick off at 1.30pm local time.

The games will be used as preparation for the UEFA under-19 elite stage qualifiers. Ireland will play mini-group hosts Portugal along with Ukraine and Israel over six days in May, with the group winner qualifying for the Estonia-hosted finals in July.

“We’ve brought in a few players to have a look at over the two games,” said Doolin. “Last season, some lads took their chance in friendly matches and ended up staying in the squad for the qualifiers. It’s important that we have options available for the squad, as we may need to call upon them if someone was to get injured or wasn’t unavailable for the qualifiers.”

Republic of Ireland: Sean McDermott (Arsenal), Alan Smith (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Barker (Bohemians), Sean Kavanagh (Fulham), Neil Byrne (Rochdale), Bradley Garmston (West Brom), Thomas Hoban (Watford), Neil Yadolahi (Burnley), Colm Horgan (Salthill Devon), Kealan Dillon (Hull City), Graham Burke (Aston Villa), Mikey Drennan (Aston Villa), Anthony Forde (Wolves), George Smith (Southend United), Paul George (Celtic), John O’Sullivan (Blackburn Rovers), Aiden O’Brien (Millwall), Connor Smith (Watford), Frankie Sutherland (QPR), Danny Morrissey (Cork City).