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The Young Boys in Green coach dismisses the notion that there were no players of the calibre of Damien Duff and Robbie Keane in the Irish youth set-up

Republic of Ireland under-21 boss has dismissed Liam Brady's opinion that Ireland currently does not possess young players of the same calibre as Robbie Keane and Damien Duff.

Speaking earlier this week, Brady suggested that the current under-age ranks did not have any exciting players, but King disagrees.

"I don't understand it," King told the Irish Independent. "From my perspective, we have a very exciting bunch of players. Not only the current under-21 age group, but what's coming in the next two or three years."

He continued: "How do you know what will happen with boys who are 17 or 18? We've seen a lot of players come from the League of Ireland that have developed late.

"Trying to get the best out of young players is the challenge, that's a big part of the job. So I don't think you can make that judgment," added King.

The Dubliner conceded that the players he had were 'different' to Damien Duff and Robbie Keane, but stressed that they were nonetheless talented.

"We've a lot of youngsters playing first-team football. They're a different style of player to Duff and Keane alright, but they've got a very good chance. Nine of the players in our 22-man U-21 squad are underage for the next three years, which is startling."

Of the current under-21 squad, Shane Duffy and Robbie Brady were due to be named by Giovanni Trapattoni in the senior squad to face Serbia, but King asked that they be allowed to stay with his squad for the crucial game against Turkey. And King believes that Manchester United winger, Brady, has an abundance of potential.

"The fact he's played in the senior team is great for me," said King. "It's great to see a young fellow like that having talent and making the best of it.

"The next step is a massive one. He's come a long way, but he's got a long way to go to become an established Manchester United player. But he's got the potential, in my view," he concluded.

The under-21s take on Turkey on August 14 at the Sligo Showgrounds. Kick off 19.30 BST.

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