Jimmy Corcoran after he had signed for Cork City.

Corcoran call up to Irish squad a big step in the right direction

The announcement yesterday that Jimmy Corcoran has been called into the Irish squad by manager Jim Crawford is a big step in the right direction for the young Meath goalkeeper.

The Irish panel also includes Dunboyne's Josh Keeley who is on the books at Tottenham Hotspurs.

Born in Dunboyne, Meath, Josh represented St Kevin's Boys, Shelbourne and Belvedere in his early years before joining St Patrick's Athletic, aged 15, where he won league titles at u-15, u-17 and u-19 levels in their youth set-up.

A regular name on their first team bench from the end of 2020, Josh made his senior debut for St Pat's against Bray Wanderers in the FAI Cup in July, 2021, before making his league debut against Finn Harps that November.

He was signed by Spurs from St Patrikc's Athletic last summer for an undisclosed sum.

From Drumbaragh Corcoran has played for Irish under-age teams in the past. He played for Kells/Blackwater and Cherry Orchard before he was taken on by Preston North End as a 16-year-old.

He was however let go by the English Championship club during the Pandemic along with other players in his age-group as they sought to cut costs.

He has since spent time in Dundalk, Wexford Youths and Cork City and now he is his looking to add to his bank of experience at international level for Ireland.

The call up to the squad is a huge positive for Corcoran after the Preston experience, which was a huge blow to him. However he has bounced back through hard work and a unstinting commitment to improving himself as a goalkeeper.

The other Cork City player in the squad is Matt Healy and there is also a first Ireland call-up for Notts County goalkeeper Tiernan Brooks in a squad that includes a large contingent of players new to this level.

Bohemians’ Head of Academy Trevor Croly will also join the u-21s technical coaching staff for this international window and will help the team prepare for their opening game of 2023.

The fixture against Iceland is the first Ireland U-21 game to be played in Cork for 14 years. More than 4,500 fans have already secured their seat. Tickets are priced €5 for children, €10 for adults and €20 for a family ticket (two adults, two children).

Speaking about the squad Republic of Ireland U-21 Head Coach Jim Crawford said: “This promises to be an exciting occasion. A new look team, in our first international of year in what we hope will be in front of a big crowd in Turner’s Cross.

“It’s a great opportunity for these players to go out and show what they’re capable of against a very good Iceland side. It’s been six months since we were last together and I’m looking forward to meeting up with the players and staff again.

“We want to bring our fans on a journey and that starts against Iceland and I’ve no doubt the Cork public will get behind us all the way.”

Republic of Ireland Under-21s Squad

Goalkeepers: Tiernan Brooks (Notts County), Jimmy Corcoran (Cork City), Josh Keeley (Tottenham Hotspur)

Defenders: Tayo Adaramola (Crystal Palace), Festy Ebosele (Udinese), James Furlong (Motherwell, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion), Anselmo Garcia MacNulty (NAC Breda, on loan from Wolfsburg), Connor O’Riordan (Crewe Alexandra), Sean Roughan (Lincoln City)

Midfielders: Cian Hayes (Fleetwood Town), Matt Healy (Cork City, on loan from Ipswich Town), Joe Hodge (Wolves), Bosun Lawal (Celtic), Killian Phillips (Shrewsbury Town, on loan from Crystal Palace)

Forwards: Sinclair Armstrong (QPR), Tom Cannon (Preston North End, on loan from Everton), Johnny Kenny (Shamrock Rovers, on loan from Celtic), Andrew Moran (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ollie O’Neill (Derry City, on loan from Fulham), Armstrong Okoflex (West Ham United)

International Friendly Fixture

Sunday, March 26 | Ireland U21 v Iceland U21, Turner’s Cross, Cork, KO 4pm (live on LOITV)

Josh Keeley who is on the books with Spurs.