Aaron Connolly, Festy Ebosele and Luca Connell have all been included in the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad for their European Championship play-offs against Israel next week.

Victory over the two legs will send Ireland to the U21 European Championships for the first time, held in Romania and Georgia next summer.

Connolly, on loan at Venezia from Brighton & Hove Albion, returns to the U21s fold for the first time in two years, when he was part of the side that beat Sweden 3-1 in Kalmar.

Ebosele was last in an U21s squad in November with his Derby County form last season seeing him called-up to Stephen Kenny’s senior squad in the May/June international window.

Connell, meanwhile, has been a near ever-present for Barnsley this season and has impressed since his move from Celtic.

Elsewhere Sean Roughan of Lincoln City is called into an U21 squad for the first time since June 2021 while manager Jim Crawford hands a first Ireland call-up to Aston Villa's Finn Azaz.

Azaz will be in line to represent Ireland for the first time. The midfielder, who is on loan at Plymouth Argyle, has impressed this season, adding to another successful loan spell last year where he was named League Two Young Player of the Season.

St Patrick's Athletic captain Joe Redmond is named among the panel having been part of the squad in March.

The first leg of the play-offs will take place at Tallaght Stadium on Friday, 23 September 23, where more than 7,000 have already secured their seat for the game. The second leg is scheduled for Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv, Israel on Tuesday, 27 September.

Republic of Ireland Under-21 Squad

Goalkeepers: David Harrington (Cork City), Brian Maher (Derry City), Luke McNicholas (Sligo Rovers)

Defenders: Eiran Cashin (Derby County), Festy Ebosele (Udinese), Andy Lyons (Shamrock Rovers), Mark McGuinness (Sheffield Wednesday, on loan from Cardiff City), Jake O'Brien (RWD Molenbeek, on loan from Crystal Palace), Lee O’Connor (Tranmere Rovers), Joe Redmond (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Sean Roughan (Lincoln City)

Midfielders: Finn Azaz (Plymouth Argyle, on loan from Aston Villa), Luca Connell (Barnsley), Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Dawson Devoy (MK Dons), Joe Hodge (Wolves), Will Smallbone (Stoke City, on loan from Southampton), Ross Tierney (Motherwell)

Forwards: Aaron Connolly (Venezia, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion), Evan Ferguson (Brighton & Hove Albion), Joshua 'JJ’ Kayode (MK Dons, on loan from Rotherham United), Liam Kerrigan (Como 1907), Ollie O’Neill (Fulham), Mipo Odubeko (Port Vale, on loan from West Ham United), Tyreik Wright (Bradford City, on loan from Aston Villa)