PREVIEW | UEFA Regions' Cup 2023
The Republic of Ireland Amateur International team embark on the UEFA Regions’ Cup 2023 campaign this week when they take on tournament hosts Galicia this Friday.
The UEFA Regions' Cup is a football competition for amateur national teams in Europe, run by UEFA.
It was held for the first time in 1999 and has been played biennially since with Poland winning the last edition with a side from Lower Silesia. Ireland last won the competition in 2015.
Having qualified for the tournament after beating Bulgaria earlier this year, Manager Gerry Davis named a 20-man squad for the tournament where they will face hosts Galicia, Bavaria and Zenica-Doboj.
Speaking ahead of the tournament, Davis said he is “not looking past the first game” as they face the hosts Galicia in Pontevedra.
Speaking to FAI Media, Davis said: “Galicia are a technically good and strong squad. The Spanish teams tend to be from the same ilk which we saw when we faced the Basque Region in preparation for the tournament.
“They are normally very organised and athletic with their upbringings and backgrounds coming from high level environments. They’ll be comfortable on the ball, possession based and we’ll need to deal with it,” he added.
The Republic of Ireland squad have been training in Sanxenxo this week in preparation for the tournament opener and Davis is pleased to be able to have gotten the squad acclimatised to warm and humid conditions in Galicia.
“Our job here is to get results and with that brings a lot of work which the players are prepared for,” he said.
“It’s a very difficult competition. Every game is a test. You can do all you can in preparation but as any international Manager will tell you, you need a bit of luck along the way too.
The UEFA Regions Cup is one of only six UEFA tournaments that a senior adult can play and Davis is at pains to hammer this opportunity home to the 20-man squad.
“There are thousands of players across the continent that will never play in a senior UEFA tournament. This competition is only amateur in name,” Davis continued.
The opening game of the tournament for the Republic of Ireland will be against Galicia and is available to stream here.
We’ll have interviews and pre-match previews available throughout the tournament bringing the best of the action from the 2023 Regions Cup to Irish fans.
Spain (Galicia) v Republic of Ireland – Friday, 9 June, 2023 – 18:00 (Irish time)
Germany (Bavaria) v Republic of Ireland – Sunday, 11 June, 2023 – 16:00 (Irish time)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Zenica-Doboj) v Republic of Ireland – Wednesday, 14 June, 2023 – 18:00 (Irish time)
Goalkeepers: Brendan O Connell (Rockmount AFC), Gary Cunningham (Westport United)
Defenders: Glen Daly (Malahide United), Jack McMullan (Home Farm FC), Lee McColgan (Cockhill Celtic), Jack Parke (Bonagee United FC), Adam Crowley (Rockmount FC), Dylan Connolly (Lucan United FC)
Midfielders: Stephen Chambers (Killester Donnycarney FC), Nathan Broderick (Rockmount FC), Luke Casey (Rockmount FC), Eoin Murphy (Rockmount FC), Adam Conway (Villa FC), Conor Coughlan (Fairview Rangers FC), Danny Aherne (Rockmount AFC), Jimmy Carr (St Michaels AFC)
Forwards: Eoin Hayes (Newmarket FC), Jimmy McHugh (Oliver Bond Celtic FC), Jordan Buckley (Usher Celtic FC), Derek Hyland (Kilbarrack United FC)