Oxford United youngster impresses on international stage
Callum O’Dowda enjoyed a fine week away with the Republic of Ireland under-21 side, starting both times as they took on England C and the England under-21 side in two friendly games.
Having played for 70 minutes of the Republic’s 2-1 defeat in the first game in Galway, Callum then played the full 90 minutes of a behind closed doors friendly against the young England side at St George’s Park. First-half goals from Tom Carroll, Saido Berahino and Nat Chalobah gave England a 3-0 lead at the break but O’Dowda then set up Sean Long for Ireland’s goal in a 3-1 defeat.
After playing in a ‘number ten’ role behind the striker in the first game Callum started the second on the left wing but still provided a threat, grazing the crossbar with a header shortly before the break. He then moved inside for the second half and played a big part in Long’s goal, as well as catching the eye as Ireland put in an improved 45 minutes in front of the watching Roy Hodgson and his senior England side.
Callum told us:
"It was a good few days and another fantastic experience to be involved in the games. The first game was hard but the second was a different tempo and style of football. England moved the ball so quickly but we worked very hard and then got back into it - we actually won the second half. I really enjoyed it and it would be great to be involved again when the next squad is announced."
England: 1 Jack Butland (Stoke City) (c ); 5 John Stones (Everton), 15 Michael Keane (Burnley), 20 Liam Moore (Leicester City), 3 Luke Garbutt (Everton); 4 Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton & Hove Albion), 14 Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea), 10 Tom Carroll (Tottenham Hotspur); 7 Alex Pritchard (Tottenham Hotspur), 18 Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion), 16 Jesse Lingard (Manchester United).
Subs: 17 Danny Ings (Burnley) for Berahino 46, 22 Matthew Targett (Southampton) for Garbutt 46, 6 Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) for Keane 58, James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) for Forster-Caskey 58, 11 Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) for Pritchard 58, 19 Will Hughes (Derby County) for Carroll 58, 2 Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal) for Stones 63
Republic of Ireland: 1 Daniel Rogers (Aberdeen); 2 Sean Long (Reading), 4 Glen Rea (Brighton & Hove Albion), 5 Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers) (c), 3 Shane Griffin (Reading); 6 Alan Browne (Preston North End), 8 Jack Connors (Dagenham & Redbridge); 7 Kenneth McEvoy (Tottenham Hotspur), 9 Conor Wilkinson (Bolton Wanderers), 10 Sean Kavanagh (Fulham), 11 Callum O’Dowda (Oxford United)
Subs: 17 Sean Maguire (West Ham United) for Wilkinson 46, 15 Pierce Sweeney (Reading) for Long 46, 12 Bradley Garmston (West Bromwich Albion) for Griffin 60