By John Foley
Pádraig Amond has been named in Mick McCarthy’s Rep of Ireland squad ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia later this month.
The Ballinabranna man and The Nationalist columnist has enjoyed a stellar run of form for his club Newport County in recent months, scoring in every round of the FA Cup before his League Two team were eventually knocked out by reigning Premier League champions Manchester City in the middle of last month.
Pádraig is one of 38 players in McCarthy’s extended squad which also includes first call-ups for Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers and Luton Town striker James Collins.
McCarthy will take a look at various options in training before trimming the squad ahead of the trip to Gibraltar on 23 March.
Among Amond’s highlights this year were scoring the winning penalty against Leicester City in the third round, a cracking goal against Middlesbrough in round four and a perfectly-judged lob against City in the fifth round.
“This season will always have memories for me and the romance of the FA Cup will never, ever diminish,” he wrote in The Nationalist after the game.
Now a fairytale season continues for Pádraig with his first ever call-up to the senior Irish squad at the age of 30.
Republic of Ireland Provisional Squad
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Kieran O’Hara (Macclesfield Town*), Mark Travers (Bournemouth)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Richard Keogh (Derby County), John Egan (Sheffield United), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Kevin Long (Burnley), Jimmy Dunne (Sunderland*), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers), Stephen Ward (Burnley)
Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Sunderland), Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Harry Arter (Cardiff City*), Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), David Meyler (Coventry City*), Shaun Williams (Millwall), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City), Daryl Horgan (Hibernian)
Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), Scott Hogan (Sheffield United*), Aiden O’Brien (Millwall), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), James Collins (Luton Town), Padraig Amond (Newport County)
*Indicates player is on loan
EURO 2020 Qualifiers
March 23: Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland
March 26: Republic of Ireland v Georgia
June 7: Denmark v Republic of Ireland
June 10: Republic of Ireland v Gibraltar
September 5: Republic of Ireland v Switzerland
October 12: Georgia v Republic of Ireland
October 15: Switzerland v Republic of Ireland
November 18: Republic of Ireland v Denmark