Colin O'Brien selects squad for MU17 Elite Phase

Colin O'Brien selects squad for MU17 Elite Phase

Republic of Ireland Men's Under-17 Head Coach Colin O'Brien has named his 20-man squad for the Elite Phase qualifiers against Italy, Ukraine and hosts Cyprus this week.Sixteen of the squad hail from the EA SPORTS LOI Academy with former Derry City academy prospect Trent Kone Doherty, now with Liverpool, returning to the Under-17s group.Ireland reached the Elite Phase with a win 4-0 over Armenia and draws against Belarus (2-2) and Norway (1-1) back in October. The next phase of qualification for the finals in Hungary begins tomorrow (Tuesday, March 7) when the young Boys in Green take on the Azzuri in Paphos. On Friday (March 10) they come up against Ukraine before facing Cyprus in their final qualifier on Monday, March 13.

Head Coach Colin O'Brien said: "The Elite Phase will be a step-up in standards and step-up in quality. I've no doubts the players will embrace it and be ready for the challenge."It's a tricky assignment getting through the first phase of qualification but we've done that and we've done that consistently over the years.

"You can see from some of the players who have gone on with their careers, and are now playing with the senior international squad, they have played with Ireland in Elite Phase qualifications so it does stand for the players in the future."Republic of Ireland Men's Under-17 SquadGoalkeepers: Joe Collins (Bohemians), Jason Healy (Waterford)Defenders: Stanley Ashbee (Hull City), Daniel Babb (UCD), Jake Grante (Crystal Palace), Kaylem Harnett (Wexford), Cory O'Sullivan (Shamrock Rovers), Midfielders: Romeo Akachukwu (Waterford), Luke Kehir (St. Patrick's Athletic), Niall McAndrew (Derby County), Matthew Moore (Cork City), Freddie Turley (Shamrock Rovers), Daniel McGrath (Bohemians), Taylor Mooney (Bohemians), Forwards: Trent Kone Doherty (Liverpool), Mason Melia (St. Patrick's Athletic), Matthew Murray (Cork City) Ike Orazi (Shamrock Rovers), Nickson Okosun (Bohemians), Naj Razi (Shamrock Rovers),UEFA European Under-17 Championship Elite Phase Qualifiers - Group 6 (all times are Irish Time)Tuesday, March 7 | Italy MU17 v Ireland MU17, Municipal Geroskipou, Paphos, Cyrpus, KO 1pm

Friday, March 10 | Ukraine MU17 v Ireland MU17, Municipal Geroskipou, Paphos, Cyrpus, KO 1pm

Monday, March 13 | Cyprus MU17 v Ireland MU17, Stelios Kyriakides Stadium, Paphos, Cyprus, KO 1pm