Republic of Ireland Men’s Under-17 Head Coach Colin O’Brien will lead his side into the first round of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifiers in Norway this week.
O’Brien has named a 20-man squad for games against Armenia (October 20), Belarus (October 23) and Norway (October 26) as he looks to reach the European Championship finals in Hungary next summer.
Speaking about the upcoming games Colin O’Brien said: “We’ve been working towards these games since the end of the Under-16s season in Sweden. Since then, we’ve been able to look at the players through a number of homebased assessment days, a training camp, regularly watching the players’ games and frequent contact with their clubs.
“We had two games against The Netherlands, who are ranked number 1 in Europe at this age grade, and that was a valuable couple of games to get a look at the players against top quality opposition.
“These games will be three different tests, but the main focus is making sure we’re prepared, and all effort goes into Armenia on Thursday. It’s so important to get off to the right start in qualification as it sets you up for the remaining fixtures. That’s the biggest change in mindset for the players coming from U16s to U17s, this is competitive football now.”
Republic of Ireland Men’s Under-17 Squad
Goalkeepers: Joe Collins (Bray Wanderers), Jason Healy (Waterford)
Defenders: Stanley Ashbee (Hull City), Daniel Babb (UCD), Jake Grante (Crystal Palace), Sean Mackey (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Cory O’Sullivan (Shamrock Rovers)
Midfielders: Romeo Akachukwu (Waterford), Rhys Bartley (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Anthony Dodd (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Luke Kehir (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Danny McGrath (Bohemians), John O’Sullivan (Shamrock Rovers), Freddie Turley (Shamrock Rovers)
Forwards: Mason Melia (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Taylor Mooney (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Nickson Okosun (Bohemians), Ike Orazi (Shamrock Rovers), Naj Razi (Shamrock Rovers), Shaun Wade (Chelsea)
UEFA European Under-17 Championship Round One fixtures (all kick-offs are Irish time)
Thursday, October 20 | Republic of Ireland MU17 v Armenia MU17, Sarpsborg Stadium, Norway, KO 5pm
Sunday, October 23 | Republic of Ireland MU17 v Belarus MU17, Fredrikstad, Norway, KO 1pm
Wednesday, October 26 | Norway MU17 v Republic of Ireland MU17, Sarpsborg Stadium, Norway, KO 4pm