Grealish omitted from U21 squad to ‘concentrate on Villa’

Republic of Ireland U21 boss Noel King has not included Jack Grealish in his latest squad following a request from the player to be omitted.

Grealish, who remains a target of senior boss Martin O’Neill, is keen to “concentrate on his Aston Villa career” according to King, who yesterday named a 23-man squad for friendlies against the USA and Russia in Marbella this month.

King explained: “I spoke to Jack’s dad. He feels he wants to concentrate on his Aston Villa career. That’s his choice and I accept it so I’ll be focusing on the players we have with us.”

However, King has drafted in Hull City defender Brian Lenihan, who played with the U21 side against Qatar in a friendly in May.

“He was with us originally and now he is back to us for these games,” said King.

“The more we work together the hope is that we can develop a squad that will be ready to compete for qualification in the next campaign.”

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND U21 SQUAD: I Lawlor (Manchester City), D Rogers (Aberdeen on loan at Dumbarton), S Long (Reading), S Griffin (Reading), P Sweeney (Reading), T Hoban (Watford), B Lenihan (Hull), M Watkins-Clark (Stoke), E O’Connell (Celtic), S Kavanagh (Fulham), J Connors (Dagenham & Redbridge), G Rea (Brighton), S Hoare (St Patrick’s Athletic), L Desmond (Shelbourne), D Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers on loan at Burton Albion), W Hayhurst (Preston), A Browne (Preston), J Byrne (Manchester City), K Sadlier (West Ham on-loan at Brighton), K McEvoy (Tottenham on-loan at Peterborough), S Byrne (Everton), C Wilkinson (Bolton), M Hamilton (Wigan).


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