Man United include Ireland under-21 keeper for Rostov trip

Kieran O'Hara is part of the travelling party to Russia and has Galway connections

Kieran O'Hara, Manchester United

Kieran O'Hara, Manchester United goalkeeper. Picture by Mike Egerton EMPICS Sport

Manchester United have included Irish goalkeeper Kieran O'Hara in their squad for the Europa League first leg clash against FC Rostov in Russia.

The Manchester born keeper turns 21 in April and has been at the club since the age of eight.

O'Hara is part of the reserves setup at present and has also had loan spells at the likes of Trafford FC, Stockport County and Morecambe.

O'Hara qualifies for Ireland through his grandparents on his father's side and was called up to the Ireland under-21 squad in September 2016 for the first time.

At the time, he told the FAI official website: “I spoke to [Ireland under-21 manager] Noel [King] and he knew I had relatives from Galway and was eligible to play. I was delighted. I then get my Irish citizenship and the passport and I’m delighted it has all come through.

“My grandparents on my father’s side were both from Galway. My Dad was very pleased. His side of the family are really proud and so is my Mum, of course.

“We’ve still got relatives in Ireland. My Dad’s aunt is still living in Galway and we’d always go to visit her when I was younger. She lives on a farm. I’d always have a Galway GAA shirt as well when I was a kid.

“I always thought about the possibility of declaring for Ireland and my Dad was always keen for me to do so. We’d have a bit of banter about the England or Ireland thing but it was always something I knew was possible and to get the call from Noel was an honour.”

O'Hara will provide back up for No 1 David De Gea and understudy Sergio Romero.

Manchester United squad for FC Rostov: De Gea, Romero, O'Hara; Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Smalling, Blind, Darmian, Young; Carrick, Herrera, Fellaini, Pogba, Mata, Lingard, Mkhitaryan; Martial, Rashford, Ibrahimovic.