Stoke City winger James McClean has been called up to the Republic of Ireland squad.
The 31 year old has been included in manager Stephen Kenny’s squad for the National League games away to Bulgaria next Thursday and then at home to Finland the following Sunday.
He is available to play in Stoke’s Carabao Cup first round game at home to Backpool this Saturday and will be back in the reckoning for the start of the League Two season, away to Millwall on September 12.
The Blackpool game had been originally scheduled for Saturday, September 5 but was brought forward because of the international break. That means Stoke’s new season will begin just 38 days after the old one finished.
McClean was voted Stoke City player of the year for 2019-20.
The 31-year-old winger made 36 league appearances during the campaign, scoring seven goals and providing seven assists.
He received almost half the votes (49%) cast by Stoke fans in an online poll conducted by the club.
More than 6,000 votes were cast in total, with Sam Clucas coming second after collecting 38%. Nick Powell was third on the list.
The Republic of Ireland squad:
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph, Mark Travers, Kieran O’Hara.
Defenders: Seamus Coleman, Matt Doherty, Enda Stevens, Shane Duffy, John Egan, Darragh Lenihan.
Midfielders: James McCarthy, Harry Arter, Jeff Hendrick, Alan Browne, Conor Hourihane, Jayson Molumby, Robbie Brady.
Forwards: Callum Robinson, Callum O’Dowda, James McClean, Aaron Connolly, Adam Idah, Troy Parrott, Shane Long, David McGoldrick (Only for the Finland game).