Four Cork players feature in Stephen Kenny's Ireland squad

Conor Hourihane misses out but Caoimhín Kelleher, John Egan, Alan Browne, and Chiedozie Ogbene will face Norway and Malta
Four Cork players feature in Stephen Kenny's Ireland squad

Rotherham United's Chiedozie Ogbene has scored five goals in the Championship this season. Picture: Nigel French/PA Wire.

FOUR Leesiders have been called up for the Republic of Ireland's upcoming friendlies against Norway and Malta.

Caoimhín Kelleher, John Egan, Alan Browne, and Chiedozie Ogbene will all represent Leeside this month, though Conor Hourihane, whose Derby side lost to Kelleher's Liverpool in the Carabo Cup at Anfield this week, isn't included.

The quartet will be joined by first-time call-ups Will Smallbone and Evan Ferguson, two recent graduates from Jim Crawford’s U21s.

Stephen Kenny’s side will face a Norway team featuring superstars Erling Haaland and Martin Ødegaard at the Aviva Stadium on November 17th and three days later they will travel to Malta for their final game of the year.

The Cork contingent will be going into this international window on the back of a good run of performances at club level.

Kelleher recently marked his return for Liverpool by saving three penalties in a shoot-out victory over Derby County in the Carabao Cup.

The shot-stopper had been missing since June’s international window and he slotted right back into Jurgen Klopp’s team last Wednesday night.

His comeback was also marked by a late save to deny David McGoldrick a late winner at Anfield.

Egan is currently leading a promotion push at Bramall Lane with Sheffield United. The centre-back is an important component in Paul Heckingbottom’s team, a group that currently sit in third place in the Championship.

Sheffield United and Bishopstown's John Egan. Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA Wire.
Sheffield United and Bishopstown's John Egan. Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA Wire.

The Blades are looking at returning to the Premier League after 18 months in the second tier of English football and Egan is at the heart of their promotiong bid as he has already made 18 appearances this season.

Alan Browne is enjoying an excellent season with Preston North End, who currently sit in seventh place in the Championship. The Lilywhites are fighting for a play-off spot and just goal difference separates them from sixth place.

Ogbene also plays in the Championship and the Millers are battling to beat the drop after their promotion from League One last season.

The winger is one of the stand-out players this year at the New York City Stadium, with Ogbene already after scoring five goals in the league this season.

Goalkeepers: 

Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Gavin Bazunu (Southampton), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth).

Defenders: 

Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathan Collins (Wolverhampton Wanderers), John Egan (Sheffield United), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Darragh Lenihan (Middlesbrough), Liam Scales (Aberdeen on loan from Celtic), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Robbie Brady (Preston North End).

Midfielders: 

Josh Cullen (Burnely), Jeff Hendrick (Reading on loan from Newcastle United), Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Will Smallbone (Stoke City on loan from Southampton), Jamie McGrath (Dundee United on loan from Wigan Athletic).

Attackers: 

Michael Obafemi (Swansea City), Callum Robinson (Cardiff City), Scott Hogan (Birmingham City), Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United), Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Evan Ferguson (Brighton & Hove Albion), Callum O'Dowda (Cardiff City).

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