Ireland U16 | Osam preps players for international return

Ireland U16 | Osam preps players for international return

Despite fixture disruption for underage international teams, it hasn’t stopped Republic of Ireland Under-16 Head Coach Paul Osam keeping his players on their toes for this season.
27th Aug 2020

In normal circumstances, Paul would be readying a squad to take part in the prestigious Victory Shield tournament, a competition he has won twice with Ireland since they first entered in 2015, but sadly this season the four-team contest has been cancelled.

With travel restrictions in place across Europe, the Head Coach has been hosting regular assessment days for home-based players at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown and has been impressed with what he has seen.

Speaking to FAI TV Paul said: “Usually I’d be a little bit more familiar with the players coming into me with the Under-16s, but because last season was cut short it’s strange this year.

“It’s great to have them back and they’ve done really well. Everyone has a fair opportunity to play and, as a I always say, it doesn’t matter who a player plays for we want the best players playing for the national team.”

Paul says he holds out hope by early 2021 international fixtures will continue but in the short term has his sights set on ‘in-house friendlies’ against Colin O’Brien’s Under-17s and Jason Donohue’s Under-15s sides as well as fixtures against Under-17s National League teams.

Paul addded: “I’ve said to the players if you do well with your clubs and do well in your assessments you’ll get an opportunity to play. 

“They won’t be getting to go to other countries but they will be playing in tough games and it will give us a bar as to where the players are and we hope that when we do go back to playing international football we’ll be ready.”