Irish under 19 manager Paul Doolin has named his 17 man squad for the Elite Stage of the Under 19 Championships Qualifiers, due to take place in Portugal later this month.
There is two notable absentee’s, Watford Striker Connor Smith is suffering from tiredness and injured Rangers goalkeeper Alan Smith both missing out. Smith, who starred in Football’s Next Star on Sky 1, has been on loan at Wealdstone in England and has been playing twice weekly, and so is suffering from fatigue. Rangers keeper Smith has been replaced by Niall Burdon, who has been playing with Stade Rennais in France, and has kept 4 clean sheets in 14 games for the French outfit.
Aston Villa starlet Samir Carruthers is also included, along with team mates Mikey Drennan and Derrick Williams. Carruthers had impressed the recently departed Aston Villa manager McLeish, making several sub appearances in recent weeks in the Premier League.
There are two League of Ireland based players: Michael Barker, who is with Bohemians under age set up, and James Kavanagh of UCD.
Speaking about the tournament Doolin said ‘This is a tough group and there will not be any easy matches but there is no reason why we can’t go there and give a good account of ourselves. Portugal in the first game is clearly a big match, if we get something out of that then it will give us the confidence to come out of the group. I have confidence in this group of players, I know that if they play to their potential then there is no reason why they can’t challenge for top spot in the group’
The team will travel to Portugal later in the month to face Portugal, Ukraine and Israel in that order over a period of six days. The games will take place in Olhao, Parchal and Ferreira.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND UNDER 19 SQUAD
Michael Barker Bohemians FC
Niall Burdon Stade Renne
Neil Byrne Rochdale FC
Samir Carruthers Aston Villa FC
Michael Drennan Aston Villa FC
Anthony Forde Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
Bradley Garmston West Bromwich Albion
Thomas Hoban Watford FC
Sean Kavanagh Fulham FC
Sean Mc Dermott Arsenal FC
Conor Morrissey Trieste
Sean Murray Watford FC
Aiden O’Brien Millwall FC
John O’Sullivan Blackburn Rovers FC
James Kavanagh UCD
George Smith Southend United FC
Frankie Sutherland Queens Park Rangers FC
Derrick Williams Aston Villa FC
May 26th – Republic of Ireland v Portugal, Stadium Jose Arcanjo, Olhao, kick-off 6pm
May 28th – Republic of Ireland v Ukraine, Municipal Stadium Bela Vista, Parchal, kick-off 4pm
May 31st – Republic of Ireland v Israel, Estadio da Nora, Ferreira, kick-off 6pm
Damien Byrne joined the Extratime.ie team for the 2012 season. He is a Dublin based freelance reporter who is partial to a Friday in Richmond Park, and can be contacted at email@example.com or on twitter at @damienbyrne92