O'Brien looks back at the last Under-17 campaign
Speaking to FAI TV, O’Brien, who is preparing a new season for the Under-17s, says he looks back at the campaign with positivity and describing the tournament as ‘an education’ for his age group.
As the host nation O’Brien’s youngsters carried the added expectation and despite not advancing beyond the group stages they finished the tournament unbeaten and attracted more than 12,000 fans to their matches at Tallaght Stadium and the Regional Sports Centre in Waterford.
O’Brien said: “You look back at it with a lot of pride because a lot of preparation went into the players, not just our age group but with the Under-16s and the Under-15s. We saw some good habits with the players when they arrived to us. We added to that, which is our role, because they’re coming into a level where the games are going to be a bit more competitive and meaningful.
“The players got a good education regarding international football and tournament football. They were in every game, they had the harsh lesson against Greece by conceding a very late goal with the last kick of the game. In the second game (Czech Republic) they had to come from behind and did so with a very late equaliser. The third was against Belgium, who are a really strong team with an incredible wide player, but we still tried to impose ourselves – the players were a credit in that game. The nation saw those matches live on TV and saw some really good performances and some good style.”
- Matt Everitt was the team’s top scorer with four goals
- During the 18/19 season Ireland U-17s produced 11 different goal scorers in 11 matches
- Ireland only failed to score against one side all season