TOWN'S Academy have been boosted by Republic of Ireland call-ups for Michael Collins and James Hand - just as they prepare for a pre-season trip to Dublin.
Collins and Hand have been invited to the Republic's three-day Under 19 coaching squad at Lilleshall which starts on Monday week, August 16.
Gerry Murphy and coach John Dungworth are taking the Academy lads to Ireland this Monday to get ready for an FA Academy Premier League season which starts at Watford on Friday, August 20 (2.00).
Town's teenagers will stay at University College Dublin and will play UCD Under 21s in a match at Bellfield on Tuesday.
They will then play Shelbourne - whose first team have just qualified to play Deportivo La Coruna in the Champions League - on Thursday before returning the day after.
"The young lads will get a lot out of it, so it's very worthwhile," said Academy director Murphy.
"It's a great way to get the players bonding, particularly the first-year boys who have not played with some of the older lads, and it's also an opportunity for us to find out more about them and how they interact.
"Working in a different environment always broadens the horizons."
Goalkeeper Tom Draper won't travel. He is replaced in the squad by Under 16 player Simon Eastwood.