Murray sets sights on U19 Championship

Murray sets sights on U19 Championship

Former Erris United forward Ronan Murray is hoping to build on a strong first season with Ipswich Town by guiding Ireland into the Under-19 UEFA Championship finals this July in Ukraine.
5th Jun 2009

Former Erris United forward Ronan Murray is hoping to build on a strong first season with Ipswich Town by guiding Ireland into the Under-19 UEFA Championship finals this July in Ukraine.


Sean McCaffrey’s side open their Elite stage of the qualifying series this Friday against Belgium at the Complex Op de Keiberg in Tongeren before facing Switzerland at the same venue two days later. They conclude the quadrangular mini-group against Sweden on Wednesday, June 10, at the Sport Centrum in Tessenderio and only a top spot finish will send them into the finals.

According to Mayo native Murray, the players are optimistic about claiming outright victory in the pool which will enable them take their place amongst the top eight nations in Europe on July 21.

“It’s a big motivation to play in these qualifying matches because the prize of representing Ireland at the Under-19 European Championships in massive,” said the 17-year old.

“We’ve avoided the bigger nations in the draw and it’s to us to perform and prove we’re capable of winning the group.

“The mood in the camp very good and we have the quality to do it. The preparation has been first-class, we came away to Enfield for a three-day training camp and it really focused us on the task.”

On a personal level, the youngster admits he’s had to work hard in order to win a place in the final squad of 18 players.

“Similar to most of this squad, I’m still eligible to play at Under-19 level against next season. I took my chance to show what I could do in the friendly matches away to Slovakia at the end of March and I’m confident in my own ability of stepping up to this level.

“I’ve just completed my first year at Ipswich Town by progressing to the reserves and my confidence was boosted by scoring a few goals near the end of the season.”

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND U-19 SQUAD:
Kieron Thorp (Crystal Palace)
Lanre Oyebanjo (Histon)
Callum O’Connor (Blackburn Rovers)
Gavin Gunning (Blackburn Rovers)
Callum Morris (Newcastle United)
Damian McCrory (Plymouth Argyle)
Richie Towell (Celtic)
Conor Hourihane (Sunderland)
Conor Clifford (Chelsea)
Gearoid Morrissey (Blackburn Rovers)
Conor Henderson (Arsenal)
Aaron Doran (Blackburn Rovers)
Jamie Devitt (Hull City)
Ronan Murray (Ipswich Town)
Sean Scannell (Crystal Palace)
James Collins (Aston Villa)
Greg Cunningham (Manchester City)

UEFA U19 Championship – Elite Qualifying Phase Fixtures

5 June 2009
Belgium v Republic of Ireland
Complex Op de Keiberg – Tongeren
Kick-off – 19.00 hrs (local time)

7 June 2009
Republic of Ireland v Switzerland
Complex Op de Keiberg – Tongeren
Kick-off: 16.00 hrs (local time)

10 June 2009
Sweden v Republic of Ireland
Sport Centrum – Tessenderio
Kick-off: 19.00 hrs (local time).