Dundalk's Darragh Leahy has earned a call-up to the Republic of Ireland U21 squad for their upcoming clash with Italy.

Also included for the first time are Southampton duo Will Ferry and Will Smallbone, while fellow Saint Michael Obafemi is in Jim Crawford’s panel for the UEFA Under-21 European Championship qualifier in Pisa on 13 October.

There is a first call-up for Carlisle United striker Joshua Kayode, while full international Lee O’Connor is involved.

After impressing in last month’s training camp, Sligo Rovers goalkeeper Ed McGinty is in the squad.

Five players come from the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, including Dundalk’s Leahy, fresh off helping his club qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.

Michael Obafemi is in the squad

"We know the challenge that awaits us in Pisa", Under-21 Manager Jim Crawford told FAI TV.

"Italy are top seeds in the group and we expect this to be the toughest game we have played so far.

"Our squad is very experienced, and includes senior internationals like Lee and Michael. The squad worked hard in last month's training camp and I look forward to getting the group together next week before we travel to Italy." 

Republic of Ireland Under-21 Squad 

Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Rochdale, on loan from Manchester City), Ed McGinty (Sligo Rovers)

Defenders: Nathan Collins (Stoke City), Darragh Leahy (Dundalk), Conor Masterson (Queens Park Rangers), Danny McNamara (St Johnstone, on loan from Millwall), Lee O’Connor (Tranmere Rovers, on loan from Celtic), Thomas O’Connor (Southampton), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Liam Scales (Shamrock Rovers) 

Midfielders: Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Will Ferry (Southampton), Jason Knight (Derby County), Daniel Mandroiu (Bohemians), Connor Ronan (Grasshopper Zurich, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Will Smallbone (Southampton), Jack Taylor (Peterborough United)

Attackers: Jonathan Afolabi (Dundee, on loan from Celtic), Zach Elbouzedi (Lincoln City), Neil Farrugia (Shamrock Rovers), Joshua Kayode (Carlisle United, on loan from Rotherham United), Michael Obafemi (Southampton) 

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