U17 EUROs | Ireland squad announced for U17 EUROs
O’Brien’s squad of 20 includes 18 players from the EA SPORTS LOI Academy one of which is Shamrock Rovers’ Ade Solanke who receives his first MU17s call-up.
His club mate Freddie Turley has been named as captain with Bohemians’ Danny McGrath named as vice-captain for the tournament. Derby County’s Niall McAndrew and Liverpool Trent Kone-Doherty, who both featured in the Elite Round of qualifiers, both miss out due to injury.
Ireland have been drawn in Group A with Poland, Wales and hosts Hungary. Their opening game is on Wednesday against Poland before they face Wales on Saturday, May 20 and Hungary on Tuesday, May 23. All games will be live on RTÉ.
Ireland qualified for the tournament thanks to a dramatic 96th minute winner by Bohs’ striker Nickson Okosun. His finish, deep into injury time, completed a 3-2 win over Cyprus that sent Ireland to the finals.
Head Coach Colin O’Brien said: “The staff and I are really satisfied with the squad and each player is here on merit. All the players have had some international involvement this season which was a key factor for us during the selection.
“It will be difficult for Trent (Kone-Doherty) and Niall (McAndrew) to miss out through injury but they’ve good people around them and I’ve no doubts they’ll overcome this.
“As for the tournament itself, there’s a natural feeling of excitement for it. Myself and a number of the staff have experienced the finals before so we have that experience, however this is a new group of players and it will be new for them and the tournament is all about the players.
“The European Championships is a great platform for player development and when you look at the senior team there are a number of players who have been involved at Under-17s finals. It stood them well and we hope this tournament does this same with this group.”
Ireland Men’s Under-17 Squad
Goalkeepers: Joe Collins (Bohemians), Jason Healy (Waterford)
Defenders: Stanley Ashbee (Hull City), Daniel Babb (UCD), Jake Grante (Crystal Palace), Kaylem Harnett (Wexford FC), Cory O’Sullivan (Shamrock Rovers), Ade Solanke (Shamrock Rovers)
Midfielders: Romeo Akachukwu (Waterford), Rhys Bartley (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Luke Kehir (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Matthew Moore (Cork City), Danny McGrath (Bohemians), Taylor Mooney (Bohemians), Freddie Turley (Shamrock Rovers)
Forwards: Mason Melia (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Matthew Murray (Cork City), Ike Orazi (Shamrock Rovers), Nickson Oksoun (Bohemians), Naj Razi (Shamrock Rovers)
UEFA U17 European Championship fixtures/key dates (all times are Irish time)
Wednesday, May 17 | Poland MU17 v Ireland MU17, Hidegkuti Nándor Stadium, Budapest, KO 3.30pm
Saturday, May 20 | Ireland MU17 v Wales MU17, Pancho Arena, Felcsút, KO 3.30pm
Tuesday, May 23 | Ireland MU17 v Hungary MU17, Pancho Arena, Felcsút, KO 7pm
Saturday, May 27 | Quarter Finals, venue and KO time TBC
Tuesday, May 30 | Semi Finals,/ FIFA U17 World Cup Play-Off venue and KO time TBC
Friday, May 2 | Final, venue and KO time TBC