MICHEAL OBAFEMI once dared to dream about earning a place in Stephen Kenny's senior Irish team and today the Swansea striker got his wish after Kenny announced his team for the upcoming UEFA Nations League games in June.
Obafemi turned down a callup for Jim Crawford's U21 side in March as he stated he only wanted to play for the senior side.
Kenny opted not to call up the 21-year-old for the March friendlies against Belgium and Lithuania, but has now granted the strikers initial wish after fine form for his club side Swansea
Obafemi has one Ireland cap and that was earned back in November 2018 against Denmark, when Martin O'Neill was still in charge.
Blackpool winger CJ Hamilton and Udinese-bound Festy Ebosele have also been promoted to the senior side for the first time.
Kenny speaking to the media said Obafemi is showing levels to his game he'd never seen before.
𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗘 𝗪𝗘 𝗚𝗢 🇮🇪
27-man squad named for UEFA Nations League fixtures in June 👇
Michael Obafemi returns ✅
First senior call-ups for Festy Ebosele & CJ Hamilton 🙌
04/06 | 🆚🇦🇲
08/06 | 🆚🇺🇦
11/06 | 🆚🏴
14/06 | 🆚🇺🇦#COYBIG | #WeAreOne pic.twitter.com/Po8nHXhmP7
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) May 25, 2022
"You can see the improvement in his play," Kenny said.
"I've seen aspects of his play I hadn’t seen previously. The performances I’ve seen recently at Swansea are better than I’ve ever seen from him. He’s done very well.
"He’s a charismatic guy. I know he’s very proud to play for Ireland and excited about coming in."
Matt Doherty and Aaron Connolly miss out after season ending injuries.
Ireland played four games in ten days between 4 and 14 June. The Boys in Green will face Armenia, Ukraine, and Scotland away and home in a busy schedule
Republic of Ireland squad:
Goalkeepers: Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Gavin Bazunu (Manchester City), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth).
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), 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), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers).
Midfielders: Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jason Knight (Derby County).
Forwards: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Troy Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur), Scott Hogan (Birmingham City), Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Michael Obafemi (Swansea City), Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United), CJ Hamilton (Blackpool), Festy Ebosele (Derby County).
UEFA Nations League fixtures
Saturday 4 June: Armenia v Republic of Ireland, Republican Stadium Yerevan, 2pm
Wednesday 8 June: Republic of Ireland v Ukraine, Aviva Stadium, 7.45pm
Saturday 11 June: Republic of Ireland v Scotland, Aviva Stadium, 5pm
Tuesday 14 June: Ukraine v Republic of Ireland, ŁKS stadium, 7.45pm
Saturday 24 September: Scotland v Republic of Ireland, Hampden Park Glasgow, 7.45pm
Tuesday 27 September: Republic of Ireland v Armenia, Aviva Stadium, 7.45pm