Former Arklow man selected for Ireland U21 training camp

Former Arklow Town defender Liam Scales has been named in the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad for a February training camp ahead of the UEFA U-21 European Championship Qualifiers.

Manager Stephen Kenny announced his first U-21 panel on Thursday afternoon, with the former Dundalk boss selecting an almost entire SSE Airtricity League team for the camp.

Scales (20) is one such name in the squad, having joined UCD in 2016 following a year-long spell with the U-19s.

The Arklow-native made 13 appearances for UCD in his debut season, scoring his first senior goal in a 1-1 draw against Athlone in September 2016.

Scales went on to star in the UCD team that clinched the First Division title in 2018, thus earning promotion to the Premier Division for 2019.

Before kicking off his tenure at UCD, Scales spent 10 years plying his trade for his boyhood club Arklow Town, who congratulated the youngster on his call-up.

“Great to see one of our former players Liam Scales getting called up to the training camp. Very well deserved and we all at Arklow Town football club wish Liam the very best of luck,” the club said.

Scales is one of three UCD players selected by Stephen Kenny, with goalkeeper Conor Kearns and striker Neil Farrugia also named.

Among the other 17 names in the squad, 15 play in the Airtricity League. The clubs represented on the panel include Bohemians (four), Shamrock Rovers (three), Waterford and Limerick (two), and Dundalk, Sligo Rovers, Cork City and St. Pat’s (one).

Meanwhile, the final two names featured — Ronan Hale and Michael O’Connor — play in the Northern Irish Premiership with Crusaders and Linfield respectively

In addition to his squad, Kenny also revealed his new backroom staff, with former Republic of Ireland international Keith Andrews named as assistant coach alongside Jim Crawford, who led the U-18s to historic victories over the Netherlands and Belgium.

The U-21s take on the Ireland Amateurs in a friendly on February 6th, before kicking off competitive football under Stephen Kenny at home to Luxembourg on the 24th of March in the UEFA U-21 European Championship Qualifiers.

Before recommencing their qualifying campaign in September, Ireland will take part in the 2019 Toulon Tournament in June.

Republic of Ireland U-21 Training squad in-full:

Goalkeepers: Conor Kearns (UCD), Ross Treacy (Dundalk)

Defenders: Andy Lyons (Bohemians), Darragh Leahy (Bohemians), Conor McCarthy (Cork City), Trevor Clarke (Shamrock Rovers), Liam Scales (UCD), John Mahon (Sligo Rovers).

Midfielders: Dan Mandriou (Bohemians), Aaron Bolger (Shamrock Rovers), JJ Lunney (Waterford), Jamie Lennon (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Brandon Kavanagh (Shamrock Rovers), Robbie McCourt (Bohemians).

Forwards: Ronan Hale (Crusaders), Neil Farrugia (UCD), Michael O’Connor (Linfield), Will Fitzgerald (Limerick), Zach Elbouzedi (Waterford), Karl O’Sullivan (Limerick).

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