Gavin Bazunu has been ruled out of Ireland games with illness

Gavin Bazunu has been ruled out of Ireland games with illness

IRELAND'S NO 1 Gavin Bazunu has been ruled out of the upcoming fixtures against Belgium and Lithuania due to illness.

This week Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley said,

"He's probably the best goalkeeper I've worked with", Cowley said when referring to Bazunu.

Stephen Kenny’s first choice now will more than likely be Liverpool's Caoimhín Kelleher for the two games this month. 

Bristol City’s Max O’Leary has been called up in place of the 19-year-old Bazunu

O’Leary comes into the squad for the first time since May 2019 having qualified to play for Ireland through his Kerry-born grandfather.

The other call-ups to the squad this week are Queens Park Rangers defender Jimmy Dunne and Bohemians goalkeeper James Talbot 

Talbot replaces Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers after he picked up a minor strain and Blackburn Rovers defender Darragh Lenihan has been deemed unfit by Ireland's medical team to play, so has been sent back to his club.

Dunne has worked with new Ireland assistant coach John Eustace at QPR. Eustace was confirmed this week as Stephen Kenny's sideman this week. 

The 24-year-old was called up during Martin O'Neill's tenure but he has yet to win a senior cap.

Talbot  was an unused sub for Euros qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar back in 2019 when Mick McCarthy was at the helm.

Goalkeepers: Caoimhín Kelleher (Liverpool), James Talbot (Bohemians), Max O’Leary (Bristol City).

Defenders: Séamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryan Manning (Swansea City), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion), John Egan (Sheffield United), Nathan Collins (Burnley), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Jimmy Dunne (Queens Park Rangers).

Midfielders: Conor Hourihane (Sheffield United, on loan from Aston Villa), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Jeff Hendrick (QPR, on loan from Newcastle United), Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jason Knight (Derby County), Mark Sykes (Oxford United).

Forwards: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Troy Parrott (MK Dons, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Scott Hogan (Birmingham City), Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United), Connor Ronan (St. Mirren, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers).