The Republic of Ireland Under 15’s will play a double header against Belgium at the home of Killarney Celtic in Kerry next Tuesday and Thursday.
The matches will provide head coach, Niall Harrison, with the opportunity to run the rule over the best young talent in the country in a competitive situation.
The first match takes place on Tuesday, March 6th at 7.30pm with the second match taking place on Thursday, March 8th at 11 am. There is great local interest in the match and with no entry fee being charged there is expected to be a large crowd at Celtic Park for both fixtures.
All of the players involved in this squad play their football in this country and have come through the emerging talent programme where they have been continuously monitored and have been coached to the highest level. Many of the players starred in the Kennedy Cup last Summer, they have since taken part in a number of 3 day training camps along with a two match trip to Qatar.
The Under 15 squad is the first rung on the ladder to full international caps for these players and is a major step in the preparation of the players for competition at European Championships level. Head Coach, Niall Harrison said:
‘This is going to be a very valuable lesson for these young players who learn what it is like being away as part of a squad and gives the lads great experience of travelling to play fixtures which will really stand to them as they progress through the age groups.’
‘We are delighted to be playing in Killarney, I have been down to the club on a few occasions and been very impressed with the facilities there. The club, league and general public in Kerry have given us great support, it is an ideal place to play.’
Pat Harnett secretary and PRO of the Kerry Schoolboys League and member of the Killarney Celtic management committee said ‘This is the culmination of a number of years of work to get the club to this level and it is a source of great pride to host two schoolboy internationals in Kerry. It proves that the pathway is open to players from all over the country to go from schoolboy level to play international football as local boy Shane McLoughlin has shown.’
Republic of Ireland Under 15 squad v Belgium
Chris Coleman Kilreen Celtic
David O’Sullivan Grant Kilreen Celtic
Anthony Breslin St. Kevin’s Boys
Colm Deasy Malahide Utd
Dan Casey St. Joseph’s Boys
Dan Tobin St. Kevin’s Boys
Danny Kane Cherry Orchard
Evin Farrell Shelbourne
Evan Moran Home Farm FC
Evan Osam St. Kevin’s Boys
Jack Tuite Cherry Orchard
James Talbot Home Farm FC
Malike Benrouggibbi St. Joseph’s Boys
Richie Purdy St. Kevin’s Boys
Sean Byrne St. Joseph’s Boys
Shane Elworthy St. Kevin’s Boys
Shane Whelan Lourdes Celtic
Conor Melody Mervue Utd.
Shane McLoughlin Killorglin FC
Jesse Devers Manulla
Cian Fogarty Woodlawn Sportslink
Ryan Corbally Woodlawn Sportslink
Under 15 soccer in the Kingdom is flourishing as the Kerry Schoolboys / Girls League provides soccer for boys and girls from under 7 to under 16′s.
The Under 7′s/8′s/9′s/10′s play in a Super Sevens competition – a non competitive series of games where enjoyment is the name of the game.
The younger girls play in a Soccer Sisters set up, where once again it is all about enjoyment.
In the 2010 / 2011 season for example the League had 102 Boys teams and 13 Girls 11 a side teams affiliated.
The Kerry League runs Academies and Emerging Talent Programmes for under 11′s / 12′s / 13′s and 14′s and a County Team at 15′s.
The Leagues have two members on the SFAI Council : Padraig Harnett and Colm Dunlea with Padraig Harnett also a member of the SFAI Rules Committee.
So for anyone living in or visiting Kerry next week why not pop along to Celtic Park in Killarney and see some possible future Irish internationals in action against Belgium.