Smith has won all his preparation games to date with wins over England, Northern Ireland and the Defence Forces and will be hopeful that his winning run continues next Saturday when they play their first game against Italy in Tolka Park which kicks-off at 2.30pm. The winners of each Intermediate section go straight in to the UEFA Regions Cup Finals, with one of the eight finalists hosting the event.
Irish manager, Smith pointed to Ireland's opening fixture against Italian side, Abruzzo as a key battle for qualification to the finals, "The first game of any qualifying phase is always going to be an important one. Winning that first game is vital but it is even more important that we don't lose it. In the other opening day fixture, Ligue de Normandie from France will play San Marino and that game will be a lot closer than people will think. Effectively, San Marino will be fielding their National ‚ÄėB' team and they should not be underestimated in their bid to reach the finals. We are joined in the group by three top quality teams and I have no doubt that qualification will go down to the wire," he said.
Republic of Ireland Preliminary squad: Brendan O' Connell [Rockmount], Adrian Walsh [Carrick Utd], Ian Cherry [Bluebell], Shane Hughes [Tolka Rvs], James Walsh [St. Michaels ], Ken Hoey [Rockmount FC], Paul Mc Cabe [Crumlin Utd], Danny Loughran [Crumlin Utd], David Lacey [Killester Utd], Conor Dillon [St. Kevins Boys], Ross Carrig [Killester Utd], Wayne Callaghan [Wayside Cel], Ian Callaghan [Wayside Cel], Peter Sherlock [Crumlin Utd], Lar Dunne [Bangor Cel], Ray Whelehan [Wayside Cel], Chris Barber [Mountview Utd], Leighton Gleeson [Courtown Hibs], Glen Keddy [Bluebell Utd], Glen Campbell [Phoenix FC], Neil O' Brien [Belgrove FC], Barry Kavanagh [Ballymun Utd] Lee Murphy [Sheriff YC].
Admission to all six games to be played at venues throughout Dublin are free of charge to all supporters.
Rep. of Ireland v Italy, Tolka Park, 2-30.
France v San Marino, Carlisle Grounds, 2-30.
Rep. of Ireland v San Marino, Tolka Park, 2-30.
Italy v France, Dalymount Park, 2-30.
France v Rep. of Ireland , Tallaght Stadium 2-30.
San Marino v Italy, Belfield, 2-30.
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