Family affair for Ireland U21s as Liam Kinsella trains alongside father Mark

Liam Kinsella will call upon his family ties as he looks to win a second Republic of Ireland Under-21s cap against Norway.

The 21-year-old Walsall midfielder made his first appearance for Noel King's side as a late substitute in a 3-1 European Championship Group 5 qualifier in Azerbaijan last month, and is hoping for further involvement in the home double-header against the Norwegians on Thursday and Israel on Monday.

Liam Kinsella. Pic: Sportsfile
Liam Kinsella. Pic: Sportsfile

He will do so with his father Mark, a former senior international, close at hand as part of King's coaching staff.

He said: "Obviously, I don't look at him as 'Dad' during the camp, but it's good to have him around to be able to speak to him during my time here.

"Whenever I ask advice during the camp, I see him as a coach and I'd speak to him like I would any other coach, but it's good to have him around.

"I was involved the back-end of the last campaign and I've really enjoyed my time with the squad so far. It's a great experience. It's a tight group here and we all really get on, so we're really looking forward to the next two games."

For Kinsella Senior, who won 48 caps for Ireland and played at the 2002 World Cup finals in the Far East, seeing his son involved with the Under-21s is a source of pride.

The 45-year-old said: "It is a great experience to be with him during camp. He has been in football since he was eight with Walsall and it has always been his drive and ambition to become a footballer, so this is a great moment.

Mark Kinsella playing for Ireland in2002. Pic: Sportsfile
Mark Kinsella playing for Ireland in2002. Pic: Sportsfile

"Noel rang me up and spoke to me about Liam and then went to watch him. He said he was good enough to be involved with the squad, which is absolutely fantastic."

Ireland currently sit at the top of their group level on points with Kosovo after victory in their opening two games of the campaign.

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