‘Unfortunately’ – Ireland Under-21s coach Jim Crawford faces losing Charlie McCann north


Ireland Under-21s coach Jim Crawford has confirmed that Rangers midfielder Charlie McCann has chosen to pursue an international career with Northern Ireland while the FAI concluded that promising West Brom defender Taylor Gardner-Hickman not eligible to wear the green shirt.

However, Crawford has confirmed that Mipo Odubeko will report duty if he is selected for the Euro qualifiers in Sweden this month, while St Patrick’s Athletic winger Darragh Burns is in the final stages of his career. complete the move from Northern Ireland.

It has been reported that North senior boss Ian Baraclough has watched Coventry-born 19-year-old McCann play for Rangers ‘B’ in recent weeks amid speculation about a motivation for him to change. change allegiance and Crawford says the player informed him of the intent.

He says he has informed the former Manchester United player – the Rangers deal is worth £750,000 – that other players are ahead of him.

“I spoke to Charlie a couple of weeks ago and unfortunately now he is looking to go and play with Northern Ireland,” Crawford told the LOI Central podcast.

“This is the danger of the 2002 generation that hasn’t been in international football for too long (because of the pandemic).

“I have to tell Charlie that you have to realize that we have Gavin Kilkenny, Conor Coventry, Ross Tierney, Dawson Devoy, Will Smallbone, these players are all really talented players. Charlie is also a player. very good but unfortunately he was not ahead of them.

“I don’t know what Northern Ireland told him but he told me that at this particular time that’s where he’s going.”

Gardner-Hickman is in the West Brom first team and the FAI has been contacted to say he qualified through his grandparents.

“It is a complicated conversation we are having with representatives and parents that they cannot find the necessary documents to bring this to FIFA. Now we’ve come to the conclusion that it was his great grandparent,” said Crawford.

Odubeko made headlines last year when he turned down U-21 calls but the Dublin-born striker – who is of interest from Nigeria – last week told the Irish Independent he was committed to the green.

Crawford has known Odubeko from his early days at St Joseph’s Boys and he met the player after a loan trip to Doncaster two weeks ago.

The 19-year-old is still waiting to get his mark for the League One club after a disappointing loan spell at Championship level with Huddersfield was cut short.

“He’s learning different aspects of the game there,” said Crawford, who answered ‘without a doubt’ when asked if he felt Odubeko would show if he made the cut for Sweden or not.

“Mipo will add to the real quality we have there. We have JJ Kayode (Rotherham), Evan Ferguson (Brighton), Colm Whelan (UCD) and Johnny Kenny (Celtic winter signing from Sligo Rovers).

“I met him (Odubeko) after the game (against AFC Wimbledon). We talked for a long time and he was in very good spirits. They defended low for most of the game but he was still there. play well once joined.

“They have a lot of counter-attacks and what Mipo is sure to bring to any group is his speed. He can score. In all age groups, with St Joseph’s Boys, and in England at the U-23 level, he scores.

“It didn’t work out at Huddersfield but I spoke to the manager (Carlos Corberan) and he said, look, it’s unfortunate we couldn’t give him minutes but there’s been an improvement. great kindness from the moment he walked in the door. until he left and he feels he has a bright future ahead of him.”

Meanwhile, Crawford says he feels Odubeko’s West Ham colleague Armstrong Oko-flex would benefit from a loan move.

The former Arsenal and Celtic man was in the West Ham starting XI but struggled for game time and was not on Crawford’s bench during the last gathering.

“You can only pick your 11 starters and nine substitutes and it’s a pity he didn’t participate,” Crawford said.

“People have to realize he can come back for the next campaign. I sat with him at the last camp and told him he had to remember that there’s a bigger picture of all all of this and, in the next campaign, if he continues to develop his way, he will be a prominent fixture in all of our teams.

“He’s one of those players who can develop better than under-23 football but he has to be careful about who he lends to. He can’t just go to a League One or League Two club that doesn’t play style. football will help him grow.

“He may have to look further in Europe, whether it’s Holland and what Jack Byrne has done, and playing in such a technical league would suit him.”

The St Patrick’s Athletic Burns winger is another eligible for the next campaign with Crawford being a fan of the player while also admitting he may have to be patient if given the green light to pursue Irish ambitions – his father is from Northern Ireland and that’s why he dedicates his time to their establishment.

Crawford said: “He’s an interesting player, he’s not allowed to sit in the chair when he has the ball because of his cunning.

“He’s a great guy to get. He’s qualified for the next campaign so it’s fantastic that he wants to play for the Republic, we’re happy with that, we could see it. It might not be this campaign.”

Ireland took on Sweden on 29 March before ending a three-time tie in June that included home games against Bosnia and Montenegro and a tough trip to Italy.

Crawford’s side finished third, four points behind leaders Sweden with a game in hand. Italy have played fewer games than both of their rivals and are favorites to qualify for the top spot, so the thrilling trip to face Sweden will have a big say in the game. location of Ireland.

It clashes with Ireland’s friendly at home against Lithuania and Crawford admits that could be problematic if senior coach Stephen Kenny wants to use that match to test new faces.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/league-of-ireland/its-unfortunate-ireland-u21-boss-jim-crawford-faces-up-to-losing-charlie-mccann-to-north-41425831.html ‘Unfortunately’ – Ireland Under-21s coach Jim Crawford faces losing Charlie McCann north

Fry Electronics Team

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