The next seven days could all but secure European football for Shamrock Rovers in 2018.Sun, Sep 24 2017
Republic of Ireland under-16 manager Paul Osam has named his squad for their upcoming double-header in Romania with 12 underage League of Ireland players among the selection.
The pair of friendlies in Bucharest later this month will serve as preparation for the annual Victory Shield, which takes place in Northern Ireland in October of this year.
The majority of the 18-man squad are based in Ireland with just two based in the UK: Manchester City midfielder Joe Hodge and Brighton & Hove Albion striker Matt Everitt.
There are three players each from St Patrick's Athletic and Bray Wanderers in the squad, as well as two from Shamrock Rovers, many of whom make their first appearance at this level.
"These are the first internationals for this age group this season so it's our first time to work with them around a match situation," Osam told the FAI's website.
"I obviously saw these players at U15 international level with Jason Donohue last year and there are a few new players at this level.
"It gives me an opportunity to see these players play and see how they gel with the group.
"Like any Eastern European nation, Romania will be a different challenge for our players. These games are all part of their education and we want them to be able to cope with different styles.
"But we have to concentrate on what we do in terms of our style of play and principles.
"We've had two assessment games against SSE Airtricity League opposition and a three-day camp with this squad for two days at Johnstown House in August working on the principles of play followed by a friendly game against SSE Airtricity League level opposition.”
"The Victory Shield is in Northern Ireland in October so this group going to Romania will be in a position to make that squad while others who may not be involved this time for one reason or another will also come into consideration."
Republic of Ireland under-16 squad to face Romania:
Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazuna (Shamrock Rovers), Jimmy Corcoran (Cherry Orchard).
Defenders: Alex Dunne (Shamrock Rovers), Cian Kelly (Bray Wanderers), Timmy Sobowale (Villa FC), Conor Power (St Patrick's Athletic), Tega Agberhiere (Waterford), James Furlong (Bray Wanderers).
Midfielders: Brandon Holt (St Patrick's Athletic), Joe Hodge (Manchester City), Ronan McKinley (Derry City), Seamus Keogh (Sligo Rovers), Matt Healy (College Corinthians), Kian Leavy (St Patrick's Athletic).
Forwards: Festy Obsele (Bray Wanderers), Conor Carty (St Francis), Matt Everitt (Brighton & Hove Albion), Patrick Moore (St Kevin's Boys)
Tuesday, September 19: Romania v Republic of Ireland, National Training Centre, Buftea, Bucharest (3pm IST).
Thursday, September 21: Romania v Republic of Ireland, National Training Centre, Buftea, Bucharest (9am IST).