Five Royals youngsters on dutyIt isn’t just our first-team squad that are in international action during the next week or so – plenty of our aspiring development squad and youth team players have also received international call-ups for their nations.
So here’s a look ahead to which players will be in action, who they’re representing, and who they’re taking on…
Shane Griffin & Sean Long – Republic of Ireland U21
Irish defensive duo Shane Griffin and Sean Long could feature for Ireland in their 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier against Lithuania – they are one of four nations in a six-team group that currently have 9 points, although that has come from four fixtures whereas Italy and Serbia have a perfect record from their three games.
The Irish defence have conceded just once in their four Group 2 games so far – that came in a 1-0 defeat in Italy – and they could go temporarily top of their group if they win in Lithuania and if Serbia and Italy play out a draw in Novi Sad. They could also feature in a friendly with Norway U21 before returning to England. Full-back Long, on loan at Luton Town, will be absent for the Hatters’ League 2 tie with Barnet on Saturday.
Dominic Hyam – Scotland U21
Defender Dominic Hyam will also be in international action; Scotland U21 face a bit of an uphill task in their U21 European Championship qualifiers, with Iceland pulling away as group leaders and France and Macedonia both placed well. That means it will be important for the Scots to register a win against their Ukrainian counterparts on Friday evening; the Eastern European youngsters arrive in Paisley rock-bottom of Group 3, losing all three of their fixtures to date. They only have a single fixture in the current break.
Sindri Scheving – Iceland U19
Icelandic full-back Sindri Scheving is without countryman Axel Andresson this time around, with his defensive colleague missing through injury. He is currently in Malta, where he is taking part in a four-team round robin against Denmark, Israel and hosts Malta as part of the European Under-19 Championship qualifiers.
They were threatening to lose 1-0 in their first fixture against their Danish neighbours on Tuesday, but defender Dadi Halldorsson netted a stoppage-time equaliser. However on Thursday morning, they slipped to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Israel. Scheving, who has played 90 minutes in each game, could feature once again in the final fixture on Sunday against the host nation.
Zak Jules – Scotland U19
Scottish defender Zak Jules will also be involved in qualifying for the U19 Euros – however their fixtures don’t take place until a little later in the break. Ireland, who face Scotland in Limerick next Wednesday, are the host nation for the group, but first the Scots will meet Latvia in Athlone on Friday before taking on Slovenia on Sunday.