Ronan Curtis named on Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad for Spain trip

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RONAN CURTIS WILL travel to Spain with the Republic of Ireland Under-21s this week for a training camp that will include friendlies against Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The 20-year-old St Johnston man had a superb season with Derry City’s first team under Kenny Shiels and has been rewarded with a call-up to Noel King’s Under-21 squad.

Curtis played with Kildrum Tigers at schoolboy level before he moved to Swilly Rovers and then onto Derry City and, having graduated from the Candystripes’ Ulster Senior League team, stepped into the first team ranks.

He is one of four League of Ireland players who will travel to the training camp in La Manga. The camp is being used as preparation for the 2019 UEFA Under 21 European Championship qualifying campaign.

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Ireland will face Czech Republic on Saturday and Slovakia on Tuesday.

King has also brought in Shamrock Rovers’ Sean Heaney, St Patrick’s Athletic’s Jamie McGrath, and Dundalk’s Ciaran O’Connor.

“We have always had a strong representation of SSE Airtricity League players in the Under 21 squad with Kevin O’Connor and Sean Maguire, who both helped Cork City win the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup last weekend, in our most recent squad,” said King.

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“There has been a steady flow of League players in our squads, which shows that the League is producing players and that they are there on merit. It is when they come into the squad whether they can step up to international football. That is why we include them.

“We will know a lot more about these players after the two games and that is what this is all about. But I think we are more advanced at this stage in building the base of our squad and that gives us hope for the coming campaign.”

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Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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