Parrott in line to make senior debut

by Dave Donnelly

Buckingham Street native Troy Parrott is in line to make his senior international debut at the age of 17 after being included in the final squad to face New Zealand and Denmark this week.

The striker is set to be given a chance from the start by manager Mick McCarthy in Thursday night’s friendly meeting with the All Whites at the Aviva Stadium.

Parrott, who has scored three goals in three games for Stephen Kenny’s Under-21s, is unlikely to feature in the crunch Euro 2020 qualifier at home to Denmark four days later.

David McGoldrick, who was badly missed when injury forced him to miss last month’s draw with Georgia and defeat in Switzerland, will likely fill the striking berth as he returns to the squad.

McGoldrick is the only striker to have scored in Ireland’s campaign to date, when he rescued a point at home to Switzerland with a late header.

There are also recalls for Baldoyle’s Robbie Brady, who scored against Gibraltar in Dublin during the summer, and Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark.

Shamrock Rovers midfielder Jack Byrne is retained after helping Shamrock Rovers to lift the FAI Cup at the Aviva earlier this month.

There are nine Dubliners in total in the squad, with Mark Travers, Matt Doherty, Enda Stevens, Jeff Hendrick, Glenn Whelan and Alan Judge also involved.

Doherty and Whelan, along with Darren Randolph, have been nursing injuries in recent weeks but all featured for their clubs at the weekend.

“The benefit of the friendly before the competitive game is that it allows me to try out a few things and give match time to players who need it,” said McCarthy.

“Robbie was left out last month simply because he had only played three minutes in the Premier League all season when I named the squad.

“He is back involved with the Burnley first team now and getting game time and his involvement is a real boost to us ahead of the match against Denmark because of the quality he brings to the team.

“I will give Robbie time against New Zealand to get ready for Denmark. He is one of the players in the squad who will really benefit from the New Zealand game before we play the Danes.

“Troy Parrott is in the squad for the first time and he will feature against New Zealand next Thursday.

“All he has to do is look at how well Aaron Connolly did last time in Georgia and Switzerland to see the opportunity that is there for him now.

“The same will apply for other players who will get a chance against New Zealand and can give me something to think about for the Denmark match.

“We know that’s the game we have to win and I can’t wait to get into camp now on Sunday and start working with these players again.”

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