Luca Connell’s excellent breakthrough-half season with Wanderers has been noticed elsewhere, mainly through the number of scouts looking to take him away from us, but also his national side. Having played for the Republic of Ireland’s Under-19 side, he has now skipped the next stage and has been called up by Mick McCarthy for the senior side’s double-header of Euro 2020 qualifiers next month.
“Luca deserves this opportunity,” manager Mick McCarthy told the FAI’s official website.
“With midfielders Conor Hourihane, Glenn Whelan and (ex-Bolton) Josh Cullen all on play-off duty with their clubs in the coming weeks, this is the perfect chance to get Luca into the squad.
“He has had a fine season with Bolton playing 15 times in total and even with their relegation troubles, he has impressed so many people. I know a number of big clubs have sent scouts to watch him so this is a chance to get him in to work with the senior players and see how he gets on.”
Connell’s inclusion has also been made possible by the absence of Harry Arter, who is usually in the Irish midfield. Connell seemed destined for big things, and Ireland have struggled for strength in depth, so it’s not a massive surprise to see McCarthy take a look at him.
It’ll probably be much more of a surprise if we get him to seal a new deal once all the off-field stuff is sorted. Thanks Ken.