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Niall Keown Not The Only Player With A Famous Surname Called Up By Ireland U21s

Gary Reilly
By Gary Reilly
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Yesterday, Noel King named his Ireland U21 squad to face Andorra later this month and the majority of the attention was focused on the fact that Ireland could have a Keown lining up a centre back in the near future.

Martin Keown's son, Niall, was handed a call up following his performances for Reading but he's not the only player with a well known name in the squad.


Oxford United midfielder Callum O'Dowda jumped at the chance to represent Ireland and a lot of that has to do with what it would have meant to his grandfather.

Brendan O'Dowda was a well known Irish tenor in the Count John McCormack mould. O'Dowda was from Dundalk but his music brought him all over the world including to the Ed Sullivan Show in America and eventually he settled in England with his family. Now his grandson, who is from the Oxford area, is getting ready to represent Ireland once again.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail, O'Dowda, who has scored four goals so far this season, explained how his grandfather's gaelic football ability has seeped down through the generations.

It’s all because of my grandad really, I guess that’s where I get my football from. He was quite similar to me in his drive and attitude – I really look up to him, even though he died in 2002.

All my extended family will be really happy.

All in all, an excellent example to anyone who says non-Irish born players diminish the importance of the national team.

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