O’Neill hands call up to Preston’s Browne

Martin O'Neill alan browne republic ireland squad preston north end
2 September 2016; Alan Browne of Republic of Ireland in action against Aljaz Krefl of Slovenia during the UEFA U21 Championship Qualifier match between Republic of Ireland and Slovenia in RSC, Waterford. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

By Damian Dolan

Preston North End midfielder Alan Browne has been drafted into Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland squad for next month’s international friendlies and World Cup qualifier.

Browne will join up with the squad for the trip to the USA where Ireland will take on Mexico on 1 June in New Jersey.

Ireland then return to action at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin where they’ll welcome Uruguay on Sunday 4 June before taking on Austria in their crucial World Cup qualifier seven days later.

Browne’s call up comes after a successful season for the 22-year-old midfielder in the Championship, during which he made 31 league appearances in all matches and helped the club secure its status in the division for a second successive year by finishing in the top half of the table.

Browne joined Preston North End from Cork City in January 2014 and made his debut for North End in a 3-1 win over Peterborough United at Deepdale. He scored his first goal for the Lilywhites in a 6-1 thrashing of Carlisle United in April 2014.

Progressed

Browne progressed well since that debut season and was a first half substitute in the Play-Off final against Swindon Town at Wembley in May 2015, as Preston won promotion to the Championship.

He then ended the 2015/16 season in the Championship by being picking up both the Club’s and the fans’ Young Player of the Year awards.

A former Republic of Ireland Under-21and Under-19 international, Browne is likely to join a selection of his Preston teammates at this week’s three-day Ireland training camp at Fota Island resort in Cork.

Browne is the fourth Preston player to be named in the squad as he joins fellow Lilywhites Daryl Horgan, Aiden McGeady and Andy Boyle in O’Neill’s panel.

Deal

He signed a three-year deal with Preston in June 2015, and told the club’s website at the time: “This new contract now just gives me the freedom to go and play again and do what I do and it’s great to get it done,” he told the club website.

“I think we can make a big impact in the Championship and be up there come the end of the season and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”


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