Five League of Ireland players included in provisional Ireland U21 squad

Noel King's side face Italy and Slovenia in upcoming Uefa U21 Championship qualifying games

Noel King includes five League of Ireland players in his provisional U21 panel ahead of Ireland's upcoming Uefa U21 Championship qualifying games against Italy and Slovenia.

Ireland face Italy at the RSC in Waterford on Thursday 24 March before travelling to Koper to face Slovenia on Monday 28 March.

Ireland are currently fourth in Group 2, having already lost to table-toppers Italy and Lithuania.

Slovenia are currently sitting in second in the table, one point behind the Italians.

St Patrick's Athletic defender Sean Hoare, Brandon Miele of Shamrock Rovers, Bray Wanderers' Dylan Connolly, as well as Cork City duo Kevin O’Connor and Sean Maguire have been included in the provisional 24-man squad.

Also included in the squad is Manchester City's Jack Byrne, who is on loan with Cambuur and was included in this week's Eredivisie team of the week.

Blackburn Rovers midfielder Darragh Lenihan is also named in the panel and is now unlikely to be included in Martin O'Neill's senior Republic of Ireland squad for the upcoming friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia

Ireland U21 Provisional Squad:

Ian Lawlor (Manchester City – on loan to Bury)

Danny Rogers (Aberdeen – on loan to Falkirk)

Brian Lenihan (Hull City)

Tommie Hoban (Watford)

Glen Rea (Brighton)

Jack Connors (Dagenham)

Niall Keown (Reading)

Sean Hoare (St Patrick’s Athletic)

Kevin O’Connor (Cork City)

Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers)

Alan Browne (Preston North End)

Harry Charsley (Everton)

Josh Cullen (West Ham United – on loan to Bradford)

Jack Byrne (Manchester City – on loan to Cambuur)

Callum O’Dowda (Oxford United)

Brandon Miele (Shamrock Rovers)

Conor Wilkinson (Bolton Wanderers – on loan to Newport County)

Shamir Goodwin (Crawley Town)

Josh Barrett (Reading)

Shane Griffin (Reading)

Sean Maguire (Cork City)

Sean Long (Reading)

Dylan Connolly (Bray Wanderers)

Kenny McEvoy (York City)