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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Saturday, May 25th 2019

O'Leary training with Ireland

Max O'Leary's superb 2018/19 campaign has not gone unnoticed as he has earned his first call-up with the Republic of Ireland squad.

He underwent his first training session with Mick McCarthy's side on Saturday (May 25th).

He can't play in competitive games until he receives an Irish passport but the national team coach believes the experience will be good for him in the meantime.

The 22-year-old keeper qualifies for Republic of Ireland through his grandfather's Kerry roots.

McCarthy told the national side's website: "Max is in the process of getting his passport, so that is taking its time. But this is a good opportunity to have a look at him and for him to meet up with the lads.

"He's had a very good season with Bristol City and was very keen to do what he needed to become eligible for us, so we will take a close look at him in training and leave the process of getting its passport up to our International Department.

"Max will give us another option at goalkeeper and he gets the chance to train alongside Darren [Randolph] and Sean [McDermott], and work with our goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly, for a few days in a great complex in Portugal."

O'Leary made his league debut in the 2018/19 season, featuring 16 times as he helped City to their highest finish in the Sky Bet Championship for 11 years.

It was announced last week that City winger Callum O'Dowda has been named in McCarthy's squads for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers versus Denmark and Gibraltar.