Osam names Ireland Under 16 squad for Victory Shield
The Republic of Ireland come into the tournament looking to defend the title they won last year in Scotland.
This season’s 72nd edition of the tournament will be staged in Northern Ireland with all three of Ireland’s games being played in the Bangor Fuels Arena.
Following the squad announcement, Osam was looking forward to the tournament. "The two friendlies against Romania last month served as good preparation for the three upcoming games," Osam said. "We won this competition last year with a talented group and this year is a strong squad again."
With the Under 16 level the final year before competitive internationals take place on a European basis, the importance of player development is vital to Osam. "The objective in games is always to win, but at underage level it is very important to develop the players properly and that is the balance we are trying to find.
"The new underage National Leagues have been a great help in getting the players up to speed. We have seen hundreds of players this season and will continue to do so with our scouting network. The Victory Shield is a very competitive competition against teams of similar styles so the games are always tough, but we will be well prepared for it."
With last season’s competition taking place in Scotland, supporters will welcome the games being closer to home this season – an aspect Osam admits is a positive. "It’s nice for the family and friends of players that it is not too far away. It should give the players a boost to have a decent support."
The squad assemble in Dublin tomorrow ahead of Monday’s opening game against tournament hosts Northern Ireland.
Republic of Ireland Under 16 Squad
Goalkeepers: Harry Halwax (Leixlip United), Jimmy Corcoran (Cherry Orchard)
Defenders: Alex Dunne (Shamrock Rovers), Cian Kelly (Bray Wanderers), Conor Power (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Mazeed Ogbungo (Arsenal), Tega Agberhiere (Waterford FC), James Furlong (Bray Wanderers)
Midfielders: Brandon Holt (St Patrick’s Athletic), Jamie Farrell (St Kevins Boys), Seamus Keogh (Sligo Rovers FC), Matt Healy (College Corinthians), Ronan Mc Kinley (Derry City), Troy Parrott (Belvedere FC)
Forwards: Sean Kennedy (Kerry League), Josh Guirigi (Leixlip United), Festy Obosele (Bray Wanderers), Armstrong Okoflex (Arsenal), Matt Everitt (Brighton & Hove Albion), Mipo Odupeko (Manchester United)
Victory Shield Fixtures
Monday, 23 October
Scotland v Wales, Seaview Stadium, KO 13:00
Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland, Bangor Fuels Arena, KO 15:00
Wednesday, 25 October
Wales v Republic of Ireland, Bangor Fuels Arena, KO 11:00
Northern Ireland v Scotland, Seaview Stadium, KO 13:00
Friday, 27 October
Republic of Ireland v Scotland, Bangor Fuels Arena, KO 13:00
Wales v Northern Ireland, Seaview Stadium, KO 15:00