Under-17s finish 4th at Hungary tournament
The Republic of Ireland Under-17s played three games at the eight-nation Hungarian invitational tournament last week, concluding with a defeat to Serbia in Saturday's third/fourth place play-off.
The tournament acted as warm up for the Under-17 UEFA first phase qualifiers next month when Ireland battle it out with Albania, Norway and mini-group hosts Malta for the two berths into the elite phase.
Sean McCaffrey's side opened their campaign in Hungary with a 1-0 win against Croatia last Wednesday which was secured by a second half winner from Reading striker James Murphy.
That win booked them a semi-final slot against the host nation the following day. Sam Byrne volleyed the Irish into the lead and they held out until two minutes from the end when Hungary equalised against the run of play. The resultant penalty shoot-out saw Hungary prevail 4-2 and earn a place in Saturday's final.
The result meant Ireland faced the other losing semi-finalist Serbia in the play-off on Saturday. McCaffrey's charges enjoyed spells of pressure during a physical encounter but ended up on the wrong end of a three-nil score-line.
"It was a productive week for the players and staff," said McCaffrey afterwards. "The week in Hungary provided us with time to get our message across to the players about the system and style we operate.
"There were some excellent individual performances. It's now about trying to get the balance right across the squad for when we go to Malta for the qualifiers."
Republic of Ireland Under-17 squad: Joe Coll (Manchester United), Ian Lawler (Manchester City), Sean Cavanaugh (Belvedere), Luke Gallagher (Cherry Orchard), Pierce Sweeney (Belvedere), Joe O'Brien (Salthill Devon), Colm Horgan (Salthill Devon), Tommy Hoban (Watford), Conor Pepper (Portmarnock), Kenneth McEvoy (Tottenham Hotspur), Gareth Brady (Belvedere), Ciaran Doyne (St. Kevin‘s Boys), Darragh Lenihan (Belvedere), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Carel TioFack (Ipswich Town), James Murphy (Reading), Philip Roberts (Arsenal), Sam Byrne (St Joseph's Boys).
Wednesday August 4:
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Croatia
Thursday August 5:
Hungary 1-1 Republic of Ireland (4-2 on pens)
Saturday August 7:
Republic of Ireland 0-3 Serbia.