Irish U17 squad announced for UEFA Championship qualifiers
Republic of Ireland U17 manager, John Morling has named a 17 man squad ahead of the UEFA Championship, elite qualifying phase which takes place in Greece from March 23-28. The Irish will compete with Denmark, Greece and Latvia for the one available place in this year's eight team UEFA Championship finals which take place in Serbia from 3-15 May.
The 2010/11 European U-17 Championship finals will also will serve as the qualification tournament for the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2011. The three top-ranked teams from the two groups will qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011.
The Irish eased to qualification from the first qualifying phase last Autumn, emerging from a group containing Albania, Malta and Norway. They continued their preparations for the elite qualifying phase with a valuable double international friendly versus Italy in Lecce last February, where they lost 1-0 in the opening encounter before reversing that score-line two days later courtesy of a Mikey Drennan strike.
Included in the squad is Reading striker, James Murphy who is Ireland's top scorer in the campaign to date with two goals while Celtic youth star, Paul George will give John Morling extra options up-front after recently declaring for the Republic.
Speaking ahead of the elite qualifying phase in Greece, Irish manager, John Morling said, "We are all really looking forward to these games. The squad are in confident form following our training camp in January which was followed by an extremely valuable double international versus Italy in February. I was extremely happy with the performance of the team against opposition with the quality of Italy but the challenges that await us in the form of Denmark, Greece and Latvia will be very different. The group is very even and every team will feel that they can qualify so it will make for a very competitive group," he said.
UEFA U17 European Championship - Elite Qualifying Phase
Group 3 Fixtures
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Greece v Latvia
Kick-off: 12 pm (local time)
Denmark v Republic of Ireland - Fotis Kosmas Stadium, Alexandropolis
Kick-off: 3pm (local time)
Friday, March 25, 2011
Republic of Ireland v Greece - Fotis Kosmas Stadium, Alexandropolis
Kick-off: 1pm (local time)
Denmark v Latvia
Monday, March 28, 2011
Latvia v Republic of Ireland - Fotis Kosmas Stadium, Alexandropolis
Greece v Denmark - Municipal Stadium, Komotini
Kick-off: 12 pm
Republic of Ireland U 17 squad
Joe Coll - Manchester United FC
Ian Lawlor - Manchester City FC
Colm Horgan - Salthill Devon FC
John Kavanagh - Ringmahon Rangers FC
Tommie Hoban - Watford FC
Pierce Sweeney - Belvedere FC
Steven Smith - Arsenal FC
Sean Kavanagh - Belvedere FC
Kealan Dillon - Derby County FC
Darragh Lenihan - Belvedere FC
Luke Gallagher - Cherry Orchard FC
Kenny McEvoy Tottenham Hotspur FC
Mikey Drennan - Aston Villa FC
Bradley Garmston - West Bromwich Albion FC
James Murphy - Reading FC
Paul George - Celtic FC
Sam Byrne - St. Josephs Boys FC