Noel King has called up Karlsruher goalkeeper Justin Merz for this Saturday’s Republic of Ireland Under 21 friendly with Qatar in Germany while Anderlecht’s Liam Bossin will be hoping to feature for Paul Doolin’s Under 19s in next week’s UEFA Elite qualifying round in Dublin.
21-year-old German born stopper Merz (right), who plays his football for Karlsruher reserves in Germany’s regional Oberliga divison has already linked up with the Republic of Ireland Under 21 squad once before. He trained with King’s squad in Dublin in March, ahead of their European Championship qualifying defeat to Montenegro.
For this week’s four day training camp in Germany and Saturday’s friendly match with Qatar however, Merz has been called up to the squad as one of two goalkeepers in the 18-man panel. Former Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper Alan O’Neill is the current Under 21 goalkeeping coach and was impressed with the youngster in March’s training camp, leading to this call up in an young and experimental squad.
“Alan O’Neill liked Justin when worked with him recently so we thought it would be a good opportunity for the lad to come in for a game,” said Noel King. “We’re just looking to see as many faces as possible and this was an unexpected but welcome opportunity to do just that. ”
The current first choice goalkeeper for King’s Under 21 side is also based abroad. Sean McDermott, who plays for Norwegian side Sandnes Ulf in the Toppserien, has played in the majority of competitive fitures over the past year and looks set to continue in that role in the next campaign beginning in the Autumn.
While Ireland’s underage coaches and scouts step up their efforts to unearth the best talent among the diaspora worldwide, goalkeepers seem to be plentiful in supply.
Anderlecht stopper Liam Bossin was been included in Paul Doolin’s squad for the Republic of Ireland’s Under 19’s UEFA Elite qualifying round in Dublin next week. The 17-year-old has been earning rave reviews in his first season at Belgian giants Anderlecht, having signed for the club from second tier White Star Woluwe last year.
Bossin made his White Star debut at just 16 years old and after three appearances between the posts in Belgium’s second division, he was snapped up by Anderlecht and now, Ireland. The youngster (below), who qualifies due to his mother Majella Carton, made his Under 19 debut against Romania at Turners Cross in March and also started in the second of last week’s friendly internationals against Mexico.
He will fight it out for Leeds United’s Eric Grimes for the chance to start in goal as Ireland tackle Iceland, Serbia and Turkey at Tallaght Stadium, Dublin for the chance to qualify for the finals in Hungary in July.
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