Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has confirmed that promising youngster Luca Connell has had to pull out of the squad for the upcoming Euro Qualifiers with a thigh strain.
18-year-old midfielder Connell has impressed with a series of mature displays for a struggling Bolton side in the Championship this season, and was a surprise call up to Ireland’s training camp in Portugal ahead of the Euro Qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar.
However, speaking at the launch of The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme at the Aviva today, McCarthy revealed that Connell impressed in training and how the talented youngster made a big impression on his teammates.
”He was excellent,” McCarthy said.
”A lovely personality about him. Real, pleasant, lovely young fella.
”He stood out in training, everybody was impressed with him. I just saw him saying goodbye to all the lads. Each and everyone gave him a hug. ‘Good luck, get fit.’ See you next time. Everyone took to him as a person and a player.
”It’s sad for him to be going because it was a good opportunity for him.”
Many Ireland fans had been hoping the highly-rated Liverpool born youngster would be capped over the course of the two upcoming games in order to avoid a repeat of the Declan Rice fiasco, but it seems we will have to wait to see Connell don the green jersey in a competitive fixture.
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