Soccer

Blackrock man Jimmy Dunne called into Ireland senior squad for the first time as Dundalk FC's Michael Duffy awaits clearance

Soccer

Caoimhín Reilly

Reporter:

Caoimhín Reilly

Email:

caoimhin.reilly@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Blackrock man Jimmy Dunne called into Ireland senior squad for the first time as Dundalk FC's Michael Duffy awaits clearance

Jimmy Dunne in action for Hearts.

Blackrock man Jimmy Dunne has been called into the Irish senior squad.

The 21-year-old defender is one of four players who have been named in the provisional panel for the first time, joining Caoimhín Kelleher (Liverpool), Ryan Manning (Rotherham) and Michael Obafemi (Southampton).

Dunne, a former Rock Celtic defender, has excelled for Scottish Premiership title contenders Hearts this term, on-loan from Burnley, and recently made his competitive bow for the Irish U21s against Germany.

There was some speculation that he was preparing to transfer his international allegiance to the North, whom Martin O'Neill's men are scheduled to play this month, along with Denmark in the Nations League.

Though his inclusion could well spell the end of such talk, as Dunne seeks to become the first Louth man to represent Boys in Green at senior level since Ian Harte 11 years ago.

However, there is no place for Michael Duffy, whose international clearance is still to be processed.

On the Dundalk winger, O'Neill said: "Young Duffy is only coming through. The paper work is there and he has chosen to play for us, which is great. I think he's an an exceptionally talented player and I enjoyed the game (FAI Cup) final immensely, it was good, there was a little bit of friction which added to the occasion.

"I think I've done more than any Irish international manager, I think I've incorporated the League of Ireland very strongly."

There is no place for Daryl Horgan either, although Richie Towell is included.