Republic of Ireland Under-17 manager Sean McCaffrey today announced a squad of 18 players for the Syrenka International Cup in ŇĀ√≥dŇļ, Poland from 30 August - 5 September 2009.
The eight-nation friendly tournament will act as preparation for the squad's Under-17 UEFA qualifying campaign which begins with the first phase qualifiers in Bulgaria from 27 September - 2 October when the Irish face Latvia, Sweden and the host nation aiming to secure the top-two finish in the group necessary for qualification into the Elite section.
Ireland will meet Russia in their opening Syrenka International Cup fixture on Tuesday, 1 September in Zgierz (kick-off 4.30pm, local time). Depending on the result of the other Group B game on Day 1 of the event, the Irish will then face either Sweden or Poland the following day, Wednesday 2 September, in ŇĀ√≥dŇļ / Kutno (kick-off 4.30pm, local time).
McCaffrey's young charges conclude their schedule on Friday, Friday 4 September by taking on one of the nations from Group A which contains Bulgaria, Romania, Denmark and Ukraine.
The squad, his first selected by McCaffrey since taking charge of this group, features 12 players to have won caps under Vincent Butler at Under-16 level last season. They include goalkeeper Sean McDermott, who completed his move from to Arsenal from IK Vaag in the summer, and defender Sean McGinty, a close-season signing of Manchester United from Charlton Athletic.
New to International football are six players, amongst them highly-rated Queen's Park Rangers midfielder Frankie Sutherland and Graham Burke, who is rewarded for his displays at the Foyle Cup in Derry last month when he helped the FAI Emerging Talent squad reach the final.
Ireland boss Sean McCaffrey is expecting his squad to be tested in their three matches at the Syrenka Cup.
"We accepted the invitation for this tournament because we were assured of quality opposition, which is what our players need with the first-phase qualifiers fast approaching," he said.
"The tournament serves an important purpose as it allows us to put our ideas across to the squad early in the season whilst also providing the opportunity to integrate new players into the set-up.
"This is a chance for players to convince me they're worthy of a place in the squad for the qualifiers. Competition for places in this selection was high and, at this stage, no player is out of contention for making the final squad that travels to Bulgaria next month."
U17 Syrenka International Cup tournament fixtures (all kick-off 4.30pm, local time):
Tuesday, 1 September
Russia v Republic of Ireland - Zgierz
Wednesday, 2 September
Republic of Ireland v (TBC) Sweden / Poland - SMS ŇĀ√≥dŇļ / Kutno
Friday, 4 September
Republic of Ireland v (TBC) Bulgaria/Romania/Denmark/Ukraine
Republic of Ireland Under-17 Squad:
Sean McDermott - Arsenal
Jack Bonham - Watford
Ben Glasgow - Arsenal
Richard Bryan - Aston Villa
Neil Yadolahi - St. Kevin's Boys
Sean McGinty - Manchester United
Michael Barker - Belvedere
Kevin Knight - Leicester City
Brian McGroary - Wolverhampton Wanderers
Shane Byrne - Leicester City
Carl McHugh - Reading
Callum Webb - Arsenal
Frankie Sutherland - QPR
Graham Burke - Belvedere
George Smith - Southend
Daniel Purdy - West Ham United
David Murphy - Reading
Aidan O`Brien - Millwall.
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