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Ex-England U21 striker Will Keane receives first Ireland call-up for October double-header

Erik G

STEPHEN KENNY HAS named a 26-man squad for the Republic of Ireland’s upcoming matches next month. 

The Boys in Green travel to Baku to take on Azerbaijan in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday, 9 October, before facing current Asian champions Qatar at the Aviva Stadium three days later. 

Next year’s World Cup hosts received a guest spot in Group A of the European qualifiers in order to play friendlies against the other five nations. 

There is one new face in the squad as Wigan Athletic striker Will Keane receives an Ireland call-up for the first time.

The 28-year-old has scored four goals in nine League One matches playing as a second striker for the Latics this season.

Former England U21 international Keane, who is the twin brother of Everton defender Michael, began his career at Manchester United before spells with Hull City, Ipswich Town and his current club. 

He met with Mick McCarthy in 2019 and declared his interest in representing Ireland. 

Captain Seamus Coleman and West Brom defender Dara O’Shea are ruled out, but Enda Stevens, Jason Knight and Chiedozie Ogbene make welcome returns to the international fold, having missed the games earlier this month through injury.

Republic of Ireland squad for Azerbaijan and Qatar matches

Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Portsmouth, on loan from Manchester City), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth).

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Defenders: Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion), John Egan (Sheffield United), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Ryan Manning (Swansea City), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Nathan Collins (Burnley).

Midfielders: Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Harry Arter (Nottingham Forest), Jamie McGrath (St. Mirren), Jason Knight (Derby County).

Forwards: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), James Collins (Cardiff City), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Adam Idah (Norwich City), Troy Parrott (MK Dons, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United).

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