Paul Doolin has named his squad to represent the Republic of Ireland U19 at the UEFA Championship finals to be played in Bucharest, Romania. Included is Bray Wanderers striker Conor Murphy, one of three goalscorers in the marvellous win over Italy in the qualifying programme.
Murphy was one of three scorers in that game which clinched the qualifying spot for Ireland. The other goals came from Sean Murray, Watford, and Joe Shaughnessy, Aberdeen, who were also named in the squad of 18 by Doolin.
The finals will run from July 20 to August 1 and will be contested by seven other national teams. Ireland have been drawn in a group with Greece, the Czech Republic and hosts Romania.
This will be Ireland’s first appearance in the finals of this category since 2002. To qualify they had to win an Elite Qualifying Phase that was contested also by Italy, Ukraine and Poland last May.
Ireland will kick off on July 20 against Greece, bolstered by an unbeaten run that stretches back over seven matches.
They will then play the Czech Republic on July 23 and the final match in the Group stage will be against hosts Romania on July 26.
The top two from the Group will advance to meet the top two of Group B in knock-out semi-finals on July 29 and the prize for the winners will be a place in the finals on August 1.
Group B will be contested by Spain, Turkey, Serbia and Belgium.
Manager Doolin will help his squad prepare for the tournament by taking them to a training camp in Rome from July 10 to 17.
Doolin named his squad today and said: “Picking just 18 players for this squad for the UEFA Championship finals has been an incredibly difficult task but I believe that the players selected are here on merit and our main priority must now be our opening game against Greece on July 20.
“We will approach the finals like any other qualification phase and first aim to get out of the group and take this championship one game at a time.
“Greece’s record in the tournament to date is very impressive given that they qualified from a group which contained France, Slovakia and Belarus without dropping any points. I have been studying DVD’s of Greece from those games and we must ensure that our players are prepared for the challenges that they will face in the finals.”
Doolin added, “Preparation for the tournament in Bucharest is key and the seven day training camp in Rome prior to the finals will be an ideal setting in terms of acclimatisation and getting the players together as a group.”
Republic of Ireland UEFA Chapionship 2011 Finals squad
Samir Carruthers – Aston Villa Football Club
Matt Doherty – Wolverhampton Wanderers
John Egan – Sunderland Football Club
Kane Ferdinand – Southend United
Anthony Forde – Wolverhampton Wanderers
Jeff Hendrick – Derby County Football Club
Kevin Knight – N/A
Aaron McCarey – Wolverhampton Wanderers
Sean McDermott – Arsenal Football Club
Conor Murphy – Bray Wanderers
Sean Murray – Watford Football Club
John O’ Sullivan – Blackburn Rovers
Anthony O’Connor – Blackburn Rovers
Joe Shaughnessy – Aberdeen Football Club
Connor Smith – Watford Football Club
Declan Walker – Wrexham Football Club
Eoin Wearen – West Ham United
Derrick Williams – Aston Villa Football Club