PREVIEW | Ireland U21 v Denmark U21
Ireland left it late to win it 2-1 against Australia on Wednesday thanks to a debut goal from Ross Tierney. They’ll look to get back-to-back wins when they take on the Danish at 5pm (Irish Time).
Bray Wanderers’ goalkeeper Brian Maher is one of four League of Ireland players in the Under-21 and has started both games against Switzerland and Australia.
Speaking about the camp he said: “It’s been a great camp for getting the lads together and testing ourselves against two very different opponents. At the moment it’s all about the process of getting ourselves prepared for the qualifiers and the performance against Switzerland and the win over Australia has helped.
“To win the way we did, with Ross (Tierney) scoring with his first touch, everyone was on such a massive high. If you look at that game we controlled a lot of it, we had a set-back but we responded well and those are the moments where you see our character growing - those are the things we’re looking for.
“We’re never going to give up on a game just because we conceded. We showed that against Wales and Australia and we also showed it against Switzerland, even though we lost we kept going because one thing I know from this group, and the players I’ve played with for Ireland through the years, is that that we won’t give up.
“Hopefully we take that into Denmark now. A win would give us more momentum and that will stand us in good stead for the qualifiers in September. Denmark are a tough opponent and not to be underestimated and we look forward to a good game.”
Brian’s preparation for the first game of the Spanish camp features in the latest episode of IRLU21 Access.
The behind-the-scenes video shows Under-21 Goalkeeping Coach Rene Gilmartin preparing Brian with a video dossier in the hours between his game against Treaty United and Switzerland.
Brian pulled off a stunning save in the second half that drew widespread praise and he speaks about training with Rene as well as his fellow Irish goalkeepers Sam Blair (Norwich City) and Dan Rose (Schalke 04).
He added: "For us as keepers it’s something that we work on everyday together. So it’s good to see something like that bear fruit on the pitch.”
Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad
Goalkeepers: Sam Blair (Norwich City), Brian Maher (Bray Wanderers), Dan Rose (Schalke 04)
Defenders: Festy Ebosele (Derby County), Shane Flynn (Leicester City), Andy Lyons (Bohemians), Oisin McEntee (Newcastle United), Mark McGuinness (Arsenal), Lewis Richards (Wolves), Sean Roughan (Lincoln City).
Midfielders: Luca Connell (Celtic), Conor Coventry (West Ham United), Alex Gilbert (Brentford), Conor Grant (Rochdale), Ryan Johansson (Sevilla), Conor Noss (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ross Tierney (Bohemians), Louie Watson (Derby County).
Forwards: Jonathan Afolabi (Celtic), Will Ferry (Southampton), Joshua ‘JJ’ Kayode (Rotherham United), Gavin Kilkenny (Bournemouth), Colm Whelan (UCD), Tyreik Wright (Aston Villa).
*Bosun Lawal (Watford) and Anselmo Garcia MacNulty (Wolfsburg) are part of the squad for training
Fixtures - International Friendlies (all times are Irish times)
- Republic of Ireland v Denmark, June 5, KO 17:00, Dama de Noche Football Centre, Marbella, Spain. (To be shown Live on YouTube/FAIofficial and at 21.30pm on Premier Sports 1)
- Ireland U21 last faced Denmark in May 2013 in a friendly in Fredericia . It ended in a 0-0 draw.
- The Republic of Ireland's last win over Denmark at this level was in 2002. The game finished 3-2 to the Boys in Green with goals from Jim Goodwin, Ben Burgess and Joe Gamble.