Shamrock Rovers midfielder Jack Byrne has been called into Mick McCarthy’s Republic of Ireland squad for the upcoming EURO 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia.
The Ireland management team was in Tallaght last Friday night and saw Byrne in impressive form – as he has been all season for the Hoops – with the 22-year-old getting an assist and a superb goal in the 3-0 win over Sligo Rovers.
“Jack was the star of the show in Tallaght,” said Ireland boss Mick McCarthy. “He was the best player by a distance in a good team performance by (Shamrock) Rovers and his goal was the icing on the cake.”
When Byrne spent a season playing in the Dutch Eredivisie with Cambuur, he was called into train in March 2016 with Martin O’Neill’s Ireland squad.
Mick McCarthy, Terry Connor, Robbie Keane and Stephen Kenny here in Tallaght this evening pic.twitter.com/pSmrkDoLMZ— Macdara Ferris (@macdarabueller) March 15, 2019
“I was impressed with his vision, his range of passing and his passion. Robbie has trained with Jack with the senior team before and speaks highly of him so I wasn’t surprised by his contribution."
After the call up Mick McCarthy was asked about Byrne at the 3 FAI International Football Awards on Sunday night.
"I’m hoping he can produce that kind of passing range that he had on Friday night. The goal he scored was magnificent. He produced a real masterclass. His passing range and all round play was excellent."
When extratime.ie asked Shamrock Rovers Head Coach Stephen Bradley last Friday about the possibility of a call up for Byrne, Bradley said “that is out of my hands but the pleasing thing for me is that Jack looks really happy in his game and in himself.
“He is getting fitter and stronger. Gearóid Morrissey scored an unbelievable goal last week but that is every bit as good. The two of those goals are contenders for goal of the season. He is working hard and his quality is coming through.”
Byrne comes in to the squad in place of Callum O’Dowda who along with Alan Browne and Ronan Curtis have dropped out from the original squad due to injury. Kevin Long and Josh Cullen have already been called in as their replacements (see here).
Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood, defender Richard Keogh and midfielder Conor Hourihane will miss training on Monday due to being afforded extra time before reporting in but all are expected to feature on Tuesday.
Republic of Ireland Squad
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Mark Travers (Bournemouth)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Richard Keogh (Derby County), John Egan (Sheffield United), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)
Midfielders: Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Harry Arter (Cardiff City*), Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), James McClean (Stoke City)
Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), James Collins (Luton Town)