Paul Doolin names Ireland Under 19 squad for Elite Stage
Republic of Ireland under-19 manager Paul Doolin has named an 18 man squad for the Elite Stage of UEFA Under-19 European Championships 2012 qualifiers, which take place in Portugal later this month.
Doolin had originally named Watford striker Connor Smith in the squad, but must replace the teenager after Smith pulled out due to tiredness. “Connor says he’s not feeling great and wouldn’t be able to go,” Doolin said yesterday. “He’s been on loan (at Ryman League club Wealdstone), playing twice per week, and seems to feel very tired. Of course it’s disappointing, but it’s probably for the best that he doesn’t go. With only 16 outfield players in the squad, we can’t carry anyone who isn’t one hundred percent up for it.”
The Irish boss has tried to stick with the squad who qualified in second place in the First Stage against Bosnia, Bulgaria, and Russia, but has been forced to make some changes. Rangers goalkeeper Alan Smith misses out through injury, and has been replaced by Stade Rennais’ Niall Burdon. Sean Kavanagh of Fulham, QPR’s Frankie Sutherland, Aston Villa’s Mikey Drennan, and ‘s Aiden O’Brien have all been included after impressing in friendlies.
Rennes keeper Burdon played 14 times for the club’s reserve team this season, keeping 4 clean sheets, but is likely to be behind Arsenal’s Norway-born goalkeeper Sean McDermott in Portugal. Third seed Ireland will meet Ukraine and Israel as well as Group 4 hosts and top seeds Portugal from May 26th to 29th, with only the top side qualifying for this summer’s U19 European Championships in Estonia.
UPDATE: UCD midfielder James Kavanagh has been drafted in to replace Connor Smith.
Republic of Ireland under-19 squad:
Sean McDermott (Arsenal), Niall Burdon (Stade Rennais)
Michael Barker (Bohemians), Conor Morrissey (Trieste), Neill Byrne (Rochdale), Tommy Hoban (Watford), Sean Kavanagh (Fulham)
Bradley Garmston (West Brom), Samir Carruthers (Aston Villa), John O’Sullivan (Blackburn Rvs), Sean Murray (Watford), Frankie Sutherland (QPR), Derrick Williams (Aston Villa), Michael Drennan (Aston Villa), James Kavanagh (UCD)
Anthony Forde (Wolves), Aiden O’Brien (Millwall), George Smith (Southend)
May 26th – Republic of Ireland v Portugal, Stadium Jose Arcanjo, Olhao, kick-off 6pm
May 28th – Republic of Ireland v Ukraine, Municipal Stadium Bela Vista, Parchal, kick-off 4pm
May 31st – Republic of Ireland v Israel, Estadio da Nora, Ferreira, kick-off 6pm