Tired Smith opts out of Irish squad

Ireland U19 boss Paul Doolin admits he’s disappointed Connor Smith feels “too tired” to feature in the upcoming UEFA U19 elite qualifiers in Portugal.

Mullingar native Smith of Watford is one of seven players from last season’s squad which reached the U19 European Championships named in yesterday’s squad.

However, exactly a year after Anthony Stokes irked Giovanni Trapattoni by citing the same excuse, Doolin confirmed the 19-year-old has opted out of the qualifiers against Portugal, Ukraine and Israel, from May 26 to 31. Only the top nation progresses to the finals in Estonia in July.

“Connor says he’s not feeling great,” said Doolin. “He’s been on loan (at non-league Wealdstone), playing twice a week, and seems to feel very tired. With only 16 outfield players in the squad, we can’t carry anyone who isn’t 100% up for it.”

Doolin has been able to call upon Anthony Forde and Samir Carruthers, debutants for Wolves and Aston Villa team respectively in the Premier League.

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