Date: 15th February 2007 at 11:30am
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Stoke City striker, Adam Rooney has been selected for the Ireland Under 21 squad for a week long tournament in Madeira at the end of this month.

This is the 18 year old’s first appearance in the Under 21 squad, although he has already picked up caps for the Under 19’s, but is subject to agreement from the Potters’ manager, Tony Pulis.

Pulis is reluctant to lose the services of his young striker who would miss two games against Barnsley and Plymouth and this raises the perennial argument of ‘Club or Country?’.

Rooney has been a regular on the bench in recent weeks and has yet to make the breakthrough into the starting eleven, but his introduction into a match for the last 15-20 minutes often causes consternation in the opponent’s defence, most notably in the FA Cup tie at Fulham last month.

I think it will be a shame for Rooney if Pulis tries to block his inclusion in the squad. For the sake of a possible 30 minutes of football (at most), he would be giving up the chance of a big step up the international ladder.

As we’ve said before regarding Pulis’ ‘use’ of the youngsters – he must play them or lose them…..