...and Pierce & Griffin up for awardRoyals defender Pierce Sweeney has been called up for the Republic of Ireland under-21s for the first time, ahead of their UEFA Championships qualifier with Montenegro.
It's an excellent feat for the 19-year-old, who has been on the substitute's bench for the Royals first team for our New Year's Day league clash at home to Nottingham Forest and our FA Cup third round tie at Brighton.
The centre back, who signed from Bray Wanderers in July 2012, has featured numerous times for the Emerald Isle's U19s as well regularly playing for our under-21s side which has reached the semi-finals of the Premier League Cup.
The Irish host the Group Six clash on Wednesday 5th March with both sides level on eight points, though Montenegro have a game in hand. The sides are competing to clinch second-spot as the ten group winners and four best runners-up will advance to the play-offs to determine the seven sides that join hosts the Czech Republic in the finals in June 2015.
This follows the news of both Pierce and fellow Royals U21s defender Shane Griffin's nomination for Ireland's U19 international player of the year award. The pair are both up against Manchester United's Sam Byrne, with the winner announced on the 2nd of March.
Well done and good luck to Pierce and Shane!