By Damian Spellman, PA
Celtic winger Mikey Johnston has been called up to the Republic of Ireland squad for the first time since his switch of allegiance from Scotland was confirmed.
The 23-year-old Glaswegian, who qualifies for Ireland through his Derry-born grandfather, has been included in a 26-man party for the friendly against Latvia on Monday, March 22 and the opening Euro 2024 qualifier clash with World Cup runners-up France five days later.
Johnston, who is currently on loan at Portuguese club Vitoria Guimaraes, has represented Scotland at Under-21s level, but has opted to play his senior football for the Republic following talks with manager Stephen Kenny.
He made his Celtic debut as an 18-year-old under Brendan Rodgers in 2017 and has gone on to win the Scottish Premiership three times, two Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups, although a serious knee injury cost him almost a year of his fledgling career, and he has struggled to re-establish himself in Ange Postecoglou’s side.
There are returns to the Ireland squad for the double-header in Dublin for Norwich duo Andrew Omobamidele and Adam Idah after injury.
The pair have not tasted international action since the 3-0 World Cup qualifier victory in Luxembourg in November 2021.
Derby midfielder Jason Knight is included after sitting out November’s friendly fixtures against Norway and Malta, as is Wigan striker Will Keane.
Squad: Gavin Bazunu (Southampton), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers, (Bournemouth), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Atletico Madrid), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich), Nathan Collins (Wolves), John Egan (Sheffield United), Dara O’Shea (West Brom), Callum O’Dowda (Cardiff), James McClean (Wigan), Josh Cullen (Burnley), Jayson Molumby (West Brom), Jeff Hendrick (Reading, on loan from Newcastle), Alan Browne (Preston), Jason Knight (Derby), Will Smallbone (Stoke, on loan from Southampton), Jamie McGrath (Dundee United, on loan from Wigan), Mark Sykes (Bristol City, Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham), Michael Obafemi (Burnley, on loan from Swansea), Evan Ferguson (Brighton), Adam Idah (Norwich), Troy Parrott (Preston, on loan from Tottenham), Will Keane (Wigan), Mikey Johnston (Vitoria Guimaraes, on loan from Celtic).