Callum O'Dowda is the Republic of Ireland's future, says Martin O'Neill
By Coral Barry
Last Updated: 24/05/16 2:58pm
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill believes Callum O'Dowda is the future of the national side.
O'Dowda, 21, was a surprise inclusion in O'Neill's preliminary 35-man squad for the upcoming European Championships after an impressive season for League Two side Oxford United.
The winger scored 10 goals and provided eight assists for his club as they clinched to promotion to League One and O'Neill is convinced O'Dowda is destined for great things after getting the opportunity to get a closer look at him in training.
"I'm been impressed with him at U21 level and I just wanted to have a look at him," said O'Neill.
"With a little bit of luck, he's the future of the Republic of Ireland national side over the next decade.
"There's a chance he'll be brought into the World Cup qualifying games, obviously there's a bit of progress to make, but it would be nice to know he wouldn't feel daunted by it.
"During the course of the week we'll get a chance to have a little look at him, but so far, so good."
O'Dowda could get the opportunity to cap off a great campaign with his first international appearance on Friday when Ireland welcome the Netherlands to Dublin for a friendly as they continue their preparations for the Euros.