Dale Stephens has saluted the battling spirit of fellow Albion midfielder Jayson Molumby after he conquered serious knee problems.

Molumby was yesterday named in the Republic of Ireland’s under-21 squad for the first time as they prepare to play Luxembourg in a European Championships qualifier in Dublin a week on Sunday.

The call came just 26 days after he made his comeback from two knee injuries which ruled him out for 15 months.

Stephens missed ten months of his first year with the Seagulls due to an ankle injury.

He said: “I’ve been through the same experience and it’s good to see players come back.

“I’m sure he will be mentally stronger for it.

“We’ve seen him every day in the gym and it was hard to watch.

“You don’t want anybody to get injured and he has obviously been through it.

“It’s good to see him come out the other side and be rewarded.”

Molumby, 19, comes from Cappoquin in County Waterford and has previously been capped through the age groups up to under-19.

He is joined in the squad by former Albion under-23s midfielder Dan Mandroiu, who now plays for Dublin outfit Bohemians in the SSE Airtricity League.