Republic of Ireland under-16 boss Paul Osam has announced his squad for his side’s upcoming internationals on 12 and 19 January.
There are 14 representatives in the squad currently plying their trade in the League of Ireland under-age National Leagues, with Shamrock Rovers, Cork City, St Patrick’s Athletic, Finn Harps, Bray Wanderers, Bohemians and Athlone Town all represented in the roster.
The young Boys in Green are set to face Germany on 12 January in La Manga, Spain, before Osam’s charges host Australia in the far more familiar territory of the FAI National Training Centre in Dublin on 19 January.
With the fixtures clashing with the off-season for the National Leagues and League of Irleand, Osam has noted that he won’t have the luxury of having players at their peak performance.
"We've been monitoring the players in recent weeks,” said Osam. “Players going into international football need to be as close to their peak as possible. That won't be possible in the upcoming games," Osam admits.
"It's a challenge for the squad, but the international season goes on all year. We cannot turn down games, when opportunities like the upcoming fixtures arise."
Republic of Ireland under-17 Head Coach Colin O'Brien will also travel to La Manga to watch the team in action against Germany, and will also be in attendance the following week, when the team meet Australia.
Osam says the two games represent a chance for the younger players to impress the under-17 boss Colin O’Brien ahead of the UEFA Under-17 Championships later this year.
"We don't have a massive pool of players at any age grade because of the size of the country. There is always potential for the Under-16s to push their way into the Under-17 squad.
"Colin [O'Brien] comes to a lot of our games. He wants to see if the players are good enough to play in the European Championships."
Republic of Ireland Squad
Goalkeepers: Arlo Doherty (Manchester City), Daniel Rose (Everton)
Defenders: Fionnan Coyle (Finn Harps), Anselmo Garcia MacNulty (Real Betis), Oisin Hand (Shamrock Rovers), Gavin O'Brien (Bohemians), Kevin Platon (Shamrock Rovers), Adam Wells (Shamrock Rovers)
Midfielders: Colin Conroy (Bohemians), Oran Crowe (Cork City), Jamie Doyle (St. Patrick's Athletic), Kyle Martin-Conway (St. Patrick's Athletic), Ben McCormack (St. Patrick's Athletic), Andrew Moran (Bray Wanderers)
Forwards: Sinclair Armstrong (Shamrock Rovers), Dylan Gavin (Athlone Town), Calum Kavanagh (Middlesbrough), Billy Vance (Bray Wanderers)
12/1: Republic of Ireland v Germany, La Manga Club, Spain, KO: 16:00 (15:00 Irish Time)
19/1: Republic of Ireland v Australia, FAI National Training Centre, KO: 13:00