West Ham youngster Conor Coventry receives first Ireland senior call-up

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The 20-year-old was promoted from the u21s after a number of players pulled out of the squad.

West Ham u23 captain Conor Coventry has received his first senior international call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad.

The midfielder was previously announced as a member of Jim Crawford’s u21 squad but has been promoted to the seniors after a succession of players were ruled out due to injury.

Coventry has very little experience playing senior football, he only ever played league football whilst on a brief stint with Lincoln City in League One last year where he managed 7 appearances. Otherwise, he’s been restricted to a handful of cup appearances for West Ham.

Despite his lack of experience, though, Coventry has undeniable quality. He’s currently captain of West Ham’s u23s and has appeared a number of times for Ireland’s u21s where he’s established himself as a consistent performer. He has also featured on the West Ham bench – alongside fellow Ireland international Mipo Odubeko – a handful of times in recent weeks which is no mean feat given their impressive league form.

Although Coventry is unlikely to make an appearance in the World Cup qualifiers, there’s a good chance he could be involved in the friendly against Qatar later this month. If so, it’d be a massive achievement given his relatively low amount of game time. He may take inspiration from Lee O’Connor who received his solitary cap – so far – in 2019 having never made a senior league appearance.

Blackburn Rovers captain Darragh Lenihan was also called up within the last couple of days due to injury problems within the squad.

Caoimhin Kelleher, Kevin Long, Conor Hourihane and Callum O’Dowda were forced to withdraw from the squad, adding to an already long list of injuries.

Kelleher was poised to start against Serbia on Wednesday, however it now appears that Bournemouth ‘keeper Mark Travers will take his place. Stephen Kenny suggested that Travers would start in the absence of Kelleher during a Q&A last week.

The Republic of Ireland squad travel to Belgrade on Wednesday (March 24th) to take on Serbia before meeting Luxembourg in the more familiar venue of the Aviva Stadium on Saturday (March 27th). Their final trip takes them to Nagyerdei Stadion in Hungary on the following Tuesday (March 30th) where they’ll face World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar in a friendly.

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