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NEWMARKET CELTIC’s Eoin Hayes has been included in an eighteen man Irish squad that faces Northern Ireland in a double header over the coming week.

Striker Hayes is the only Clare representative in the Republic of Ireland’s amateur squad. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native has been one of the standout junior soccer players in the county and indeed the country for over a decade and has remained a constant part of the national setup for the past six years when lining out in the UEFA Regions Cup.

In 2019, Eoin was named FAI Junior International of the Year while he was an integral part of Donie Garrihy’s side when Clare claimed two Oscar Traynor titles. He is currently captain of the Paddy Purcell managed Newmarket Celtic A.

Gerry Davis’ side are set to travel to Dungannon tomorrow, Wednesday, September 21, to take on Northern Ireland at Strangemore Park, with kick-off at 7:45pm. The return fixture is set for Whitehall on Wednesday, September 28, with kick-off at 7.45pm as Ireland aim for two victories.

Last month, the Republic of Ireland secured two wins over Wales, a 2-1 win at Turner’s Cross with goals from Eoin Murphy and Luke Casey before travelling to Wales for the return fixture. First-half goals from Nathan Broderick and Stephen Chambers secured the second victory, a 2-0 win in Colwyn Bay as Ireland head into these two fixtures with plenty of confidence.

“No doubt, Northern Ireland will be a tough test for us but I’ve been really happy with the development of the team over the course of the last two internationals,” Davis said. “We secured the win in Cork over Wales with a great performance but two stunning goals as well. In Wales, we took an early lead and I was delighted with the way we controlled the game from that point onwards and managed it brilliantly to get the result”.

He added, “We’ve got to take those learnings into these next two games and it would be great to get a good crowd for the return fixture next week at Whitehall. We’re looking forward to it, playing for your country at any level is a great honour and particularly, playing Northern Ireland gives it that extra derby element which we’re looking forward to”.

Republic of Ireland Squad
Goalkeepers: Brendan O’Connell (Rockmount), Gary Cunningham (Westport United)
Defenders: Adam Crowley (Rockmount), Jack McMullen (Home Farm), Chris Smith (Aisling Annacotty), Garbhan Manley (College Corinthians), Aaron Humphries (Kilbarrack United), Lee McColgan (Cockhill Celtic).
Midfielders: Stephen Chambers (Killester Donnycarney), Eoin Murphy (Rockmount), Luke Casey (Rockmount), Nathan Broderick (Rockmount), Mikey Fox (Salthill Devon), AJ O’Connor (Fairview Rangers).
Forwards: Eoin Hayes (Newmarket Celtic), Jack Kelly (Kilbarrack United), Shane Stritch (Bluebell United), Jimmy McHugh (Oliver Bond Celtic).

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