Republic U21 call-up for Bruce

Birmingham defender Alex Bruce, son of Blues manager Steve, has received his first call-up to the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad.

The 21-year-old, who three times has rejected approaches from Northern Ireland, has been picked in the 18-man squad to play Sweden in a friendly on Tuesday in Drogheda.

“He was fortunate that both respective countries wanted him and he has decided to choose the Republic,” said dad Steve, who as a player turned down former Republic boss Jack Charlton because the UEFA ruling on foreign players would have made things difficult at Manchester United.

Bruce added on Birmingham’s club website, “With his grandparents being Irish he thought ‘Why not?’ It’s genuine that both sides of our family are Irish.”

Bruce joins Birmingham team-mates Marcos Painter and goalkeeper Colin Doyle, currently on loan at Millwall, in the under-21 squad.

Squad: D Quigley (UCD), C Doyle (Birmingham); K Foley (Luton), P McShane (Brighton), M Painter (Birmingham), A Bruce (Birmingham), R Keogh (Bristol City), JHand (Huddersfield), W Flood (Man City), G Dicker (UCD), D Potter (Southampton), G Whelan (Sheff Wed), M Timlin (Fulham), R O’Donovan (Cork City), J Tabb (Brentford), S Ward (Bohemians), A Keogh (Scunthorpe), L Best (Sheff Wed).

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