O’Neill names Futsal squad for UEFA qualifiers
The Republic of Ireland will kick off the tournament against Andorra (Thursday January 20 kick-off 20.00) and follow with games against Norway (Friday January 21 kick-off 20.00) and Israel (Sunday January 23 kick-off 20.00). Entry for supporters is free of charge.
The squad is made up primarily of players from the Emerald Futsal League which has just completed a successful second season with Shamrock Rovers being crowned champions. Unsurprisingly, the predominant representation of players comes from that Rovers squad with no fewer than seven of the fourteen squad places being secured by the club.
Another club well represented is Sporting Fingal whose UEFA Futsal Cup heroics in the summer has raised the profile of Irish Futsal in Europe. Team Captain Mark Langtry, Sweeper Ross Zambra and Goalkeeper Ian Carry have all tasted success with Sporting Fingal in European club futsal ‘s premier competition and are now looking forward to bringing that experience to the International stage.
Many of the players have previously represented Ireland at this level before so next week's tournament should represent an exciting challenge for them. Visiting Dublin will be the squads of Norway, Andorra and Israel to provide O'Neill's team with a stern test.
Norway visited Dublin last year and secured a narrow victory over the Irish. In a game which was snatched away from the Irish in the final seconds, the Irish players are eager to make amends.
Another player returning to form at the moment is Blue Magic Futsal player Lloyd Massey who will be remembered for a spectacular strike which helped secure Ireland's last victory in UEFA Competition against England. Lloyd will be playing alongside his brother Dane Massey for a third UEFA Futsal tournament and both players hope that it will be third time lucky to qualify from this stage.
Manager O'Neiil said: " The players are really looking forward to next week's tournament. Whereas previously we would use these matches to gain valuable experience for players, we now feel we are ready to make an impact on the tournament. There is now good competition for places with players of the quality of Joe Watson and Darren Kavanagh just waiting for their chance so it will certainly keep people on their toes going forward! Obviously, as we are relative newcomers to high level futsal, every match represents a stiff challenge and a learning curve for us but the players now believe they can do well next week and will give it their all."
Republic of Ireland Futsal Squad
1. John Somers (Shamrock Rovers Futsal)
2. Mark Langtry (Sporting Fingal Futsal / UCD)
3. Ian Byrne(Shamrock Rovers Futsal)
4. Philip McDonagh(Shamrock Rovers Futsal / Drumcondra FC)
5. Ross Zambra (Sporting Fingal Futsal / Wayside Celtic)
6. Dane Massey (Bray Wanderers FC)
7. Lloyd Massey (Blue Magic Futsal)
8. Alan McCabe (AUL Futsal / Sherriff CY)
9. Alan Lynch (Shamrock Rovers Futsal)
10. Jack Doyle(Shamrock Rovers Futsal)
11. Ian Carry (Sporting Fingal Futsal)
12. Tony Kane (AUL Futsal / Sherriff CY)
13. Cian McDonald(Shamrock Rovers Futsal)
14. Brendan Dawson (Shamrock Rovers Futsal)
Joe Watson (Waterford Bohemians FC)
Darren Kavanagh (Killester United)
Thursday, January 20 2011
Israel v Norway
Republic of Ireland v Andorra
Friday, January 21 2011
Andorra v Israel
Republic of Ireland v Norway
Sunday, January 23 2011
Norway v Andorra
Israel v Republic of Ireland