Ireland youngster added to Manchester United's Champions League squad
Ireland internationals are rare enough sights in the Champions League these days but we may be seeing one soon enough.
Manchester United have added two players to their Champions League squad and one of them is a young Irish goalkeeper.
Kieran O'Hara, an Ireland U21 international, and Demetri Mitchell are among six players on the three-time European champions' 'B List', along with Joel Pereira, Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford.
These six players are available for selection for the group stages along with the 25 senior squad players United registered with Uefa last week. The list of reserves can be unlimited, as long as they fall within the Uefa eligibility rules [ie: they are considered home-grown], but by naming the six players, Jose Mourinho has demonstrated some trust in their talents.
O'Hara featured on the United bench for their league finalé against Crystal Palace, last season, with Pereira getting the nod to start. He has had loan spells at Stockport and Morecambe in the last couple of seasons.
Born in Manchester, the goalkeeper qualifies to play for Ireland under the grandparent rule and has been on the books with United since he was eight-years-old. He has one Ireland U21 cap to his name.
Mitchell began his youth career at Manchester United but - like Antonio Valencia, Quinton Fortune and Ashley Young before him - he was asked to drop back into defence and has impressed coaches at the club.
The 20-year-old has four England U20 caps to his name and started that 2-0 victory over Palace, at Old Trafford, last season.
With Rashford also on the B list, United were able to include striker James Wilson in their main Champions League squad.
O'Hara and Mitchell will be doing well to feature in Champions League action over the coming months but may well get a taste of the action if United are either struck down with senior squad injuries or if they secure qualification for the knock-out stages with a game or two of their group to spare.
Over at Liverpool, O'Hara's fellow Ireland U21 Conor Masterson is part of their Champions League squad.
MO SALAH'S GOING HOME, THANKS A LOT SERGIO RAMOS...
Check out the brand new daily JOE World Cup Minipod hosted by Dion Fanning and Paddy McKenna featuring a very sad Salah, the high-powered hosts are heading to the last 16 and English pundits are up for a scrap.
Subscribe for free on iPhone and Android