Conor Coventry

Six Academy stars set for summer internationals

Six rising stars from the West Ham United Academy are set to feature on the international stage in the coming weeks.

Conor Coventry and Mipo Odubeko have both enjoyed spells on loan in EFL League this season, with MK Dons and Doncaster Rovers respectively, and the Hammers pair are now set to represent Ireland U21s once again at international level.

Midfielder Coventry and forward Odubeko will join up with Jim Crawford’s squad for a trio of 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying matches in June, at home to Bosnia and Herzegovina, at home to Montenegro, and away to Italy. 

Coventry, Odubeko and their international colleagues will face both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro at the Tallaght Stadium in Dublin on Friday 3 June at 7.30pm and Monday 6 June at 5.00pm, respectively. 

The Irish youngsters will then travel to Ascoli Piceno to play their Italian counterparts at the Stadio Cino e Lillo Del Duca on Tuesday 14 June, with kick-off set for 4.30pm.

Ireland sit third in Group F, ahead of their final three qualification matches, on 13 points, four behind group leaders Italy. Sweden hold second place, and the route into the play-offs, with 14 points.

Odubeko vs Sweden

Elsewhere, midfielder Pierre Ekwah has been selected for the France U20s squad, who are set to compete in the 2022 Maurice Revello Tournament. 

Formerly known as the Toulon Tournament, the annual, international, age-restricted football competition will be held in Bouches-du-Rhône, France from 29 May to 12 June 2022. 

Ekwah, who has made five appearances for the France U20s side since his debut last October, will join his international teammates in Group A alongside Argentina, Panama and Saudi Arabia. 

France are due to play Panama on Sunday 29 May at 5.30pm at the Stade de Lattre-de-Tassigny in Aubagne, before facing Saudi Arabia on Wednesday 1 June at 
Stade Jules-Ladoumègue in Vitrolles, with kick-off again set for 5.30pm. 

Ekwah and France will close out Group A with a return to the Stade de Lattre-de-Tassigny against Argentina on Saturday 4 June.

The top placing teams from the three groups, as well as the best performing runners-up, will compete in the knock-out stages of the competition, with the final set for Sunday 12 June.

Pierre Ekwah shoots v Brighton


West Ham United U18s captain Michael Forbes will also be in international action for Northern Ireland U19s next month, as he links up with his international colleagues for two friendlies against Malta. 

The centre-back and his teammates will twice play Malta at the Malta Football Association training complex in Ta’ Qali on Wednesday 8 June and Friday 10 June, with both friendlies set to kick off 7.30pm.

Forbes is also on standby for the Northern Ireland U21s squad, who are set to play Spain and Lithuania in 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifiers next month.

Sonny Perkins and Divin Mubama have once again been selected for England U18s duty and will join up with the junior Lions for an international tournament in Zagreb, Croatia, throughout June. 

Sonny Perkins


Perkins and Mubama will be a part of the England squad that will play Austria on Tuesday 7 June, at 3pm, at the NK Sesvete Stadium, before facing Wales on Friday 10 June at 3pm at the same venue. 

England U18s will close out the tournament against host nation Croatia at the NK Rudes Stadium on Monday 13 June, again at 3pm.

Perkins has featured five times for England U18s since his debut last September, scoring twice for his country. Mubama has one goal in three outings.

Coventry, Odubeko, Ekwah, Forbes, Perkins and Mubama join Harrison Ashby and Krisztián Hegyi in being called up for international duty over the summer. 

Ashby and Hegyi were selected for Scotland U21s and Hungary U21s last week for their respective UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying fixtures.


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