Republic of Ireland manager Gerry Smith has given his Under-20s squad a day off today following an impressive 2 - 0 victory over an Al Ain club reserve side last night in the run-up to their first game of the World Youth Championships against Saudi Arabia in Al Ain on Saturday (kick-off 1.45 p.m. Irish time).
And Smith has just one injury worry as Liverpool’s Darren Potter did not take any part in last night’s match because of a leg complaint.
"Darren is being treated by our physio Declan Mahon and he is improving every day. He will be all right," said the manager.
Paddy McCarthy (Manchester City) and Eamonn Zayed (Bray Wanderers) scored Ireland’s two goals last night as Smith gave all his players in the squad a run out except for Potter.
The Irish party are finding conditions in the UAE pleasant with temperatures ranging between 25 and 30 degrees.
After Saturday’s game against Saudi Arabia, the Irish will meet the Ivory Coast on December 5 and fill face Mexico in the final game of their qualifying group on December 5.
The full Irish squad is: Wayne Henderson (Aston Villa), Brian Murphy (Swansea City), Stephen Paisley (Longford Town), Paddy McCarthy (Manchester City), Stephen Capper (Scarborough), Sean Dillon (Longford Town), John Fitzgerald (Blackburn Rovers), Stephen Kelly (Tottenham Hotspur), Darren Potter (Liverpool), Keith Fahey (St. Patrick’s Athletic), David Bell (Rushden and Diamonds), Graham Ward (Kidderminster Harriers), Michael Foley (Liverpool), Liam Kearney (Cork City), Eamonn Zayed (Bray Wanderers), Willo Flood (Manchester City), Jonathon Daly (Stockport County), Kevin Doyle (Cork City), Stephen Elliott (Manchester City), Glenn Whelan (Manchester City).
Manager : Gerry Smith.
Assistant manager : John McDonnell.
One change in Under-19 side for France
New Irish Under-19 manager Sean McCaffrey has been forced to make one change to his under-19 squad for the friendly game against France in Alencon next Wednesday, December 3, 2003.
Sunderland’s Richie Ryan has withdrawn from the squad and his place is taken by Hussain Yazdani (Coventry City).