It has been confirmed that Celtic loanee Mikey Johnston has received international clearance and has declared to play for the Republic of Ireland [FAI].
The 23-year-old winger has previously represented Scotland at youth level but has chosen to play for Ireland due to his grandparents being from Derry and will now be available to face Latvia and France at the end of March.
He had made clear to manager Stephen Kenny that he had a desire to play for Ireland as the process for eligibility started months ago.
Johnston first made his debut for the Hoops back in May 2017 and has been in and around the squad since having won three league titles, two League Cups and two Scottish Cups.
Ange Postecoglou has spoken highly of the Celtic youth academy graduate but thought that he would benefit from a loan spell away from the club.
He joined Portuguese Primeira Liga side Vitória Guimarães and has impressed during his time having made 20 appearances for the club and helped them to fifth in the table. Johnston is now excited to get his international career started under Kenny.
“I’m delighted to declare for the Republic of Ireland and excited for what my future holds in an Ireland shirt,” said Johnston speaking to the [FAI].
“Myself and my family have always been proud of our Irish roots with my grandad hailing from Derry and to potentially now play for Ireland is something that really excites me.
“It’s up to me now to impress the manager and to get selected to the squad but my focus now is to break into that squad and to make an impact for the team in a big year for the team.
“I’ve always watched the Ireland matches and the atmosphere always looks incredible. I can’t wait to play at the Aviva Stadium and hopefully create some great moments for the team.”
There may still be a chance that Johnston comes back to Celtic Park in the summer and is once again part of the first team squad.
Postecoglou will likely look at these games with great interest as his contract isn’t up until 2026 meaning he could be part of the plans going forward.