Ireland U17s facing daunting challenge

Tom Mohan has told his Republic of Ireland Under-17s to simply go and compete at next week’s UEFA championship finals in Bulgaria.

Ireland are most definitely the underdogs in a group that also includes Holland, Italy and England.

“Our expectation is that we’ve got to go there and compete,” said manager Mohan in naming his 18-man squad yesterday.”

The main loss to Ireland ahead of the tournament is highly-rated Everton-based winger, Steven Kinsella, who misses out through injury, along with goalkeeper Tom McDermott, Jake Doyle-Hayes and Brandon Payne.

In come Shelbourne goalkeeper David Craddock, Marcus Agyei-Tabi, a versatile midfielder from Arsenal, West Ham’s Anthony Scully and Jamie Gray of St. Kevin’s, one of seven home-based players in the squad.

Ireland open their campaign against last year’s beaten finalists Holland in the Black Sea town of Sozopol next Thursday.

They follow that up with a clash against Italy in Stara Zagora on Sunday week before completing Group D against reigning champions England at the same venue on May 13th.

Republic of Ireland Under-17 Squad:

Caoimhin Kelleher (Ringmahon Rangers), David Craddock (Shelbourne), Luke Wade-Slater (St. Kevin’s), Corey O’Keeffe (Birmingham City), Conor Masterson (Liverpool), Shane Hanney (Shamrock Rovers), Darragh Leahy (Coventry City), Jonathan Lunney (Preston), Robert McCourt (WBA), Connor Ronan (Wolves), Marcus Agyei-Tabi (Arsenal), Anthony Scully (West Ham), Conor Levingston (Wolves), Zachary Elbouzedi (WBA), Jamie Aherne (Lucan United), Trevor Clarke (St. Kevin’s), Joshua Barrett (Reading), Jamie Gray (St. Kevin’s).

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