Paul Doolin names U19 squad for Euro 2012 Qualifiers
Republic of Ireland under 19 boss Paul Doolin has named a seventeen man squad for the first stage of Euro 2012 qualifiers next month.
A number of players are included who were part of Doolin’s successful U19 side who reached the semi-finals at this year’s tournament in Romania. Ireland will meet Russia, Bosnia and mini-group host Bulgaria between October 6th and 11th. The top two countries will qualify for the Elite Stage of qualifiers which will take place early next year, with 8 teams in total heading to Estonia next summer.
Doolin included seven members of the Euro 2011 side, while newcomers have been added after impressing in recent friendlies against Slovakia and Serbia. Perhaps the standout name is Conor Morrissey of U.S. Triestina Calcio, who play in the Italian third tier, in Lega Pro Prima Divisione B.
“It wasn’t an easy task to decide on the final selection, particularly being allowed only 16 outfield players for the three matches, but I feel the balance to the squad is right,” Doolin admitted. “Even in this first stage, none of our opponents in the group could be considered weak nations. The priority for us, though, is the first game against Bulgaria. Picking up a result in the game against the host nation will be difficult but important to our chances of qualifying for the next phase.”
Thursday, 6 October: Bulgaria-Ireland
Saturday, 8 October: Ireland-Bosnia
Tuesday, 11 October: Russia-Ireland
Goalkeepers: Sean McDermott (Arsenal), Alan Smith (Rangers)
Defenders: Thomas Hoban (Watford), Conor Morrissey (Trieste), Derrick Williams (Aston Villa), Carl McHugh (Dundalk), Neil Byrne (Nottingham Forest)
Midfielders: Bradley Garmston (West Bromwich Albion), Paul George (Celtic), Samir Carruthers (Aston Villa), Graham Burke (Aston Villa), Anthony Forde (Wolves), Sean Murray (Watford)
Forwards: John O’Sullivan (Blackburn Rovers), Aiden O’Brien (Millwall), George Smith (Southend United), Connor Smith (Watford)