Best young Irish football players yet to get their first senior cap

12 October 2021; Conor Coventry of Republic of Ireland in action against Danilo Pesukic of Montenegro during the UEFA European U21 Championship Qualifier Group F match between Montenegro and Republic of Ireland at Gradski Stadion Podgorica in Podgorica, Montenegro. Photo by Filip Roganovice/Sportsfile

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Many pundits have been proclaiming and hoping that Ireland has a team for the future. There are still many young Irish players waiting for their first chance

Best young Irish footballers waiting for their senior international cap

6. Tyreik Samuel Wright

Salford City (on loan) – Right-Wing – 20-years-old

This is Wright’s first full year as part of the senior set-up of a professional club. The winger was born in Ovens, County Cork and made his name at Lakewood FC before moving into Aston Villa’s youth system.

Last season he spent six months at Walsall making 16 league appearances. This year in League Two, Wright has made four starts, scoring his first senior goal. Still a young man, he has gotten seven caps with the Irish U21 team and has scored a goal.

 

5. Zachary Elbouzedi

AIK – Right Midfield – 23-years-old

Elbouzedi has been a name on many Irish fans tongues for the last few years. The Dublin man began his youth career at West Bromwich Albion but after not breaking into the side he started travelling between Scotland, England and Ireland. Now he finds himself playing for AIK in Sweden. So far he has made 17 appearances since July scoring one remarkable goal.

The midfielder is still yet to get a senior cap even though he has for every one of Ireland’s underage teams from U15s to U21s. Still only 23 years old, his day could still come.

4. Joshua Kayode

Rotherham United – Centre Forward – 20-years-old

Stephen Kenny has found great success in finding young Irish talents in Rotherham this year. Kayode could soon join his compatriot Chiedozie Ogbene in pulling on the green jersey. Born in Lagos, Nigeria he has represented the Ireland U21s team since October 2020. He even scored on his first full debut for the team away against Luxembourg last year.

He scored eight goals last year on loan at Carlisle United last season which has led to him playing six games already for his parent club Rotherham.

 

3. Liam Scales

Celtic FC – Left Wing Back – 23-years-old

This is one of the most likely people on this list to get the call-up. Scales has been playing very well for Celtic since moving from Shamrock Rovers this summer. He was called up for Ireland’s last set of qualifiers but was unlucky not to make it onto the pitch.

Although he is not featured in the squad for the upcoming matches, if his form continues to go up then we could see him in the squad soon.

2. Conor Coventry

Peterborough (on loan) – Centre Midfield – 21-years-old

Coventry is another English born player that has found a chance in the Irish set-up through his mother. He first joined Ireland’s U17s team and was recently part of Stephen Kenny’s U21 team before Kenny took the senior job.

He is presently on a season-long loan from parent club West Ham in the Championship with Peterborough. He has made eight appearances in the league and showed his strength as a defensive option for the club.

1. Gavin Kilkenny

AFC Bournemouth – Centre Midfield – 21-years-old

It is a surprise that Kenny did not call up Kilkenny for this set of games. For a young player, he has shown great composure and strength on the ball for a Championship-topping Bournemouth side. He has made 11 starts for the club already this year making Scott Parker’s side proud as one of their homegrown talents.

Surely a call-up will be coming soon for the young man as he continues to hear stories about international duty from his teammates Robbie Brady and Mark Travers.

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