U21 boss King calls up Conors

ARSENAL’s Conor Henderson and Conor Clifford of Chelsea headline Noel King’s Republic of Ireland U21 squad for the March 25 friendly against Portugal in Águeda, north of Lisbon.

Also included in the squad is Coventry City goalkeeper Michael Quirke, who receives his first Republic of Ireland international call-up, as does Preston midfielder Adam Barton, who previously made an appearance for Nigel Worthington’s Northern Ireland senior team in a friendly against Morocco last November.

King said: “This friendly is a key element to our preparation for the European Championships which begin on September 1 at home to Hungary in Sligo. We have made a number of changes, purely to look at as many of our players as possible ahead of the campaign.

“Portugal are a talented side and include players such as Manchester United star Bébé and their recent 3-1 victory over Sweden proves that they will be a big test for us,” added the Ireland boss.

Squad: I McLoughlin (Stockport, on loan from Ipswich), M Quirke (Coventry City), R Towell (Hibs, on loan from Celtic), S Duffy (Everton), G Gunning (Motherwell, on loan from Blackburn), S O’Connor (Ipswich), R Kiernan (Wycombe, on loan from Watford), D McCrory (Dagenham & Redbridge), A Barton (Preston NE), M Connolly (Bolton), C Henderson (Arsenal), J Devitt (Hull City), S Scannell (Crystal Palace), C Clifford (Chelsea), J Collins (Shrewsbury), J Mason (Plymouth), P Madden (Carlisle Utd)

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