Ireland U19s prepare for UEFA qualifiers opening fixture
THE Republic of Ireland U19 side will meet Azerbaijan in their opening game in Group Three of the UEFA U19 Championships qualifying round tournament in Sweden tomorrow.
Head Coach Paul Doolin is expecting a testing encounter when the Irish meet Azerbaijan in the opening game before meeting hosts Sweden on Saturday then finish the group against Bosnia & Herzegovina on Tuesday, October 15.
"Azerbaijan have just spent nine days together in Lativa preparing for this competition so they will be well prepared," Doolin explained.
"They recently drew with Croatia and looking at that DVD they seemed to have good players in attack and midfield and were well-organised in defence.
"One thing I noticed was their tendancy to give away a lot of free-kicks so if we keep our discipline there could be some opportunities but there's no doubt they're a decent side."
Doolin's side beat Slovenia 2-0 in their most recent friendly international in Waterford last month and he wants them to build on that performance.
"It was important to get that win and a clean sheet against Slovenia. Training has gone well this week and the weather has been fine," he said.
"Unfortunately we lost Sam Byrne to an injury he picked up in a UEFA Youth Champions League game last week so that's a blow. He did very well for the side even though he was a year younger last year.
"It opens the door for players like Alan O'Sullivan, who has been doing well at Aberdeen, and Sam O'Connor, who is progressing at Hull City."
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND U19 SQUAD
Eric Grimes (Leeds United FC)
Shane Fagan (Shamrock Rovers FC)
Noe Baba (Fulham FC)
Sean Long (Reading FC)
Kyle Mc Fadden (Norwich City FC)
Dan Cleary (Liverpool FC)
Kevin Toner (Aston Villa FC)
Bobby Moseley (Birmingham City FC)
Thomas Mulroney (St Patricks Athletic FC)
Alan Browne (Cork City FC)
Colm Crowe (UCD AFC)
Dean O'Halloran (Fulham FC)
Steven McCarthy (Sunderland AFC)
Adam Wixted (Derby County FC)
Alex O'Hanlon (Liverpool FC)
Sam O'Connor (Hull City FC)
Alan O'Sullivan (Aberdeen FC)
Liam Kelly (Reading FC)
UEFA U19 Championships Qualifying Round Group Three
Thursday, October 10
Republic of Ireland v Azerbaijan, Angelholms IP Stadium (1.00pm Irish).
Saturday, October 12
Sweden v Republic of Ireland, Angelholms IP Stadium (3.00pm Irish).
Tuesday, October 15
Republic of Ireland v Bosnia & Herzegovina, Vangavallen Stadium, Trelleborg (1.00pm Irish)