Republic of Ireland Under-17s ready to face Europe’s elite

Manager Tom Mohan confident his side can mix it with the best

Manager Tom Mohan: “The Dutch are first up and that’s all I’m thinking of.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Manager Tom Mohan: “The Dutch are first up and that’s all I’m thinking of.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Arsenal midfielder Marcus Agyei-Tabi is one of four players added by manager Tom Mohan to his squad for next week’s European under-17 Championships in Bulgaria where Ireland will take on England, Italy and the Netherlands in the group stages.

“We’ve watched Marcus over the course of the season,” said Mohan, “but then he came in last week for a training camp, played against Shamrock Rovers’ under-19s and showed up well for us.”

The 16-year-old is a well regarded and versatile player who can play out wide, in the centre or in the number 10 role and he is joined in the squad by Anthony Scully who, having previously represented both England and Ireland in friendly games, will be in contention to make his competitive debut.

Shelbourne goalkeeper David Craddock comes in for the injured Thomas McDermott of Spurs while James Gray of St Kevin’s Boys is also added to the group that qualified from the Elite Group stage in Poland.

Second Captains

Mohan, meanwhile, is without “highly rated” Everton midfielder Steven Kinsella (quad) as well as Jake Doyle-Hayes of Aston Villa and Celtic’s Brandon Payne.

“It’s unfortunate but we were without three of the four in the Elite phase so we just have to get on with it,” said Mohan, “and it will be a challenge for the rest of the lads.

“It’s a great tournament and it’s important that the players enjoy the experience, they’re good players and it’s an opportunity to play against other good players. In terms of expectations, though, it’s important that we don’t get carried away. We want to be competitive . . ”

The Irish play the Dutch next Thursday followed by Italy on the Sunday and England the following Wednesday with the top two progressing to the quarter-finals. The four losers will play-off for the last two of six European places at the World Cup in Chile this October.

“We’ve a lot of attacking players in this group, some really good individuals, they’re a brilliant group of young fellows,” said Mohan. “But the Dutch and English have both been very successful at this level, the English have won a couple of titles over the last few years . . .

“The Dutch are first up and that’s all I’m thinking of. (FAI technical director) Ruud Dokter will be a lot of help for that one.”

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD (for the Uefa Under-17 Championships finals in Bulgaria next month): Kelleher (Ringmahon Rangers); Craddock (Shelbourne); Wade-Slater (St Kevin’s Boys); O’Keeffe (Birmingham City); Masterson (Liverpool); Hanney (Shamrock Rovers); Leahy (Coventry City); Lunney (Preston NE); McCourt (West Brom); Ronan (Wolves); Agyei-Tabi (Arsenal); Scully (West Ham Utd); Levingston (Wolves); Elbouzedi (West Brom); Aherne (Lucan Utd); Clarke (St Kevin’s Boys); Barrett (Reading); Gray (St Kevin’s Boys). Republic of Ireland Group D fixtures – May 7th: v Netherlands; May 10th: v Italy; May 13th: v England.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.