McShane names squad for Shield opener


McShane names squad for Shield opener

New Republic of Ireland Schools Head Coach John McShane (International School Dublin) has named 18 players for his opening match against Scotland at Home Farm FC next Thursday (March 17).
10th Mar 2022

The St. Patrick’s Day encounter will ensure the festivities in the Capital last that little bit longer as proceedings kick off at 7pm in the Whitehall venue. 

Following the FAI Schools Interprovincial Tournament last December, McShane and his management staff whittled down the 64 players that starred in that event to nearly 30 players for his initial trial. Over the course of the next three months, they cut the training squad accordingly with a number of students on standby, should their services be required over the campaign.

Conor Walsh (Summerhill College and formerly of Rice College) is an absentee for this game as he is involved with Colin O’Brien’s Under 17s set-up. He may be called upon at a later date if his schedule permits. 

The Republic of Ireland Schools last won the Shield in 2018 when William O’Connor (Balbriggan Community College) made his management debut so we will be wishful of the same faith this time out as McShane calls the shots. 

Clonakilty, Youghal, Glanmire and Cork City will see the Southern cohort relishing their involvement this season as John O’DONOVAN (Clonakilty Community College), Leon AYINDE (Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, Cork), Alex HEALY BYRNE (Glanmire Community College), Charlie O’BRIEN (Pobalscoil na Trionóide, Youghal) and Zach DUNNE (Presentation Brothers College, Cork) all called into the fray. 

The West will see Michael McCULLAGH and David TARMEY (both Coláiste Bhaile Chláir) and Steven HEALY (Calasanctius College, Oranmore) making the cut. 

It’s quite unique for a School to have more than one player represented but this is replicated in St. Benildus College, Stillorgan as Kieran CRUISE and Lennon GILL have been named. 

Mayo pupil Darragh REILLY (St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar) has also impressed in the trialing process and is assured his place in the squad. 

Reece BYRNE (Oatlands College) and Jack ROSS (Presentation College, Bray) will contest the number one jersey as they’re selected between the posts for this game. 

It’s fantastic to see a Leitrim graduate involved as youngster Eanna CLANCY (St. Clare’s Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton) will be a sure favourite this season. 

Local lads Michael KEYES (Malahide Community School), Tadhg WALSH (St. Joseph’s CBS, Fairview) will be well versed on the home venue and should draw a good support network to cheer them on. 

Noted for their hurling prowess, we have St. Kieran’s College, Kilkenny star Michael RAGGET included and he will surely make a major impact in games. As will Dundalk starlet Oisín COLEMAN (St. Mary’s Diocesan School).

The Shield makes a welcome return following a two year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Last week, saw the first of ten games streamed on the BBC iplayer (red button) as Scotland took on long serving Champions Northern Ireland who were crowned back in April 2019.  The game served up five spectacular goals with Scotland edging out Frankie Wilson’s Northern Ireland scholars. 

Indeed Northern Ireland are out again tomorrow (Thursday, March 10) as they host Wales in Belfast. It will be a crucial game if Wilson’s crew wish to hold onto the silverware again this season. 

The second of the Republic of Ireland’s fixtures will see the team travel to Maginn Park in Buncrana when they take on their Northern counterparts. 

The third outing will see the Republic of Ireland feature in Eastleigh FC as England host while the Irish’s campaign will conclude in Caernarfon FC at the end of April with the conclusion of the 2022 series. John McShane will be hopeful that his team will still be in contention at that stage. 

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SCHOOLS | Eanna CLANCY (St. Clare’s Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton), Steven HEALY (Calasanctius College, Oranmore), John O’DONOVAN (Clonakilty Community College), Leon AYINDE (Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, Cork), Alex HEALY BYRNE (Glanmire Community College), Charlie O’BRIEN (Pobalscoil na Trionóide, Youghal) and Zach DUNNE (Presentation Brothers College, Cork), Oisín COLEMAN (St. Mary’s Diocesan School), Michael RAGGET (St. Kieran’s College, Kilkenny), Michael KEYES(Malahide Community School), Tadhg WALSH (St. Joseph’s CBS, Fairview), Michael McCULLAGH and David TARMEY (both Coláiste Bhaile Chláir), Kieran CRUISE and Lennon GILL (both St. Benildus College, Stillorgan), Darragh REILLY (St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar), Reece BYRNE (Oatlands College), Jack ROSS (Presentation College, Bray)

MANAGEMENT | John McShane, Head Coach (Dublin International School), Derek O’Brien, Coach (Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore) Ollie Horgan, Coach (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Conor Foley, GK Coach (Athlone Community College), Martin Cavanagh, Equipment Manager (Carndonagh Community School), Michael McGlynn (Physio), Dr. Aidan O’Colmain (Team Doctor)

2022 inspiresport Centenary Shield 

Thursday, March 3 | Scotland 3-2 Northern Ireland, Renfrew FC

Thursday, March 10 | Northern Ireland vs Wales, H&W Welders FC
Thursday, March 17 | Republic of Ireland vs Scotland, Home Farm FC, Whitehall
Friday, March 25 | Northern Ireland vs England, H&W Welders FC
Thursday, March 31 | Republic of Ireland vs Northern Ireland, Maginn Park, Buncrana
Friday, April 1 | England vs Scotland, Spennymoor Town FC
Thursday, April 7 | Scotland vs Wales, Annan Athletic FC
Friday, April 8 | England vs Republic of Ireland, Eastleigh FC
Thursday, April 14 | Wales vs England, Llansawel FC                     
Thursday, April 21 | Wales vs Republic of Ireland, Caernarfon FC

All fixtures kick-off at 7pm