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Keith Treacy: Seniors the priority but Andrew Moran call-up could have waited

Keith Treacy believes the fact that Andrew Moran did not get any game-time against the Netherlands on Saturday could alter the perception of Stephen Kenny's decision to promote him from the Republic of Ireland Under-21s, although he regards the call-up as understandable from both the manager and player's perspective.

Blackburn youngster Moran, who is on loan from Brighton this season, had captained Jim Crawford's U21s to good effect in September and October.

After three wins in three in the European U21 qualifiers, November was viewed as crucial with fixtures against group rivals Norway and Italy, the former of those ending in a 3-2 defeat in Drammen last Friday.

But injury concerns for the senior team saw the 20-year-old added to Kenny's squad for Saturday's final Euro 2024 qualifier defeat to the Netherlands and Tuesday's friendly against New Zealand, which, like the Italy U21 game, will be live back-to-back on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.

Moran was ultimately not sprung from the bench in Amsterdam but is expected to feature at the Aviva Stadium against the All Whites in what is the final match whilst Kenny is under contract as manager.

The decision to promote Moran, at a time when the U-21s could have done with him rather than being involved in senior matches that had less riding on them, elicited criticism from RTÉ analysts Didi Hamann and Alan Cawley.

In the build-up to the Dutch game, Hamann opined that Kenny's decision had been "inexcusable".

Speaking on the RTÉ Soccer Podcast, ex-Ireland senior and Under-21 international Treacy looked at both sides of the argument from the perspective of a player that had gone through the ranks.

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