The Republic of Ireland under 15 team will be in the Netherlands in a few weeks to face the Dutch in a couple of friendly internationals. Head Coach Jason Donohoe has selected an 18-strong panel for the trip.
The squad will work closely with Donohoe and his backroom team in advance of clashes against the Netherlands Under 15s at the Dutch Football Association training centre in Zeist.
The matches are scheduled for Tuesday, January 31 (3.00pm Irish time) and Thursday, February 2 (2.00pm Irish time).
“With most of the players' club seasons transitioning to operating in the calendar year format from now on we had to put a plan in place to keep the players ticking over during January in particular," said Donohue, whose charges drew 0-0 and lost 2-1 in two encounters with Poland Under 15s back in November at Lomza in Poland.
"With the cooperation of the clubs, leagues and the SFAI's assistance with All-Ireland cup fixtures, we’re bringing them in each weekend in January in preparation for the double-header against the Netherlands,” continued the Irish supremo of the largely home based group. “
Conor Carty of St. Francis who scored against the Poles is named in the squad and Donohoe confirms,
“We are using this as an opportunity to further look at players who played against Poland and after a centre of excellence assessment day over Christmas we have also made six changes from the squad that played in those games. Players were rewarded for good performances in the ETP (Emerging Talent programme).”
“Within the weekends’ training in January we’ve analysed the Netherlands and we’re working on applying our principles of play within the four functions - defending, attacking and the transitions. Within that we’ve organised a training game against Paul Osam’s Ireland U16 squad and they will help us by setting up to play as we expect the Netherlands to play. That’ll help the players prepare for the demands of the games they’ll face in the double-header. Our objective in the Poland games was to make sure we could build out from the back competently and against Netherlands and we’ll try to progress that now and look to improve our play from midfield and in the final third while also keeping a good defensive structure."
The full squad is: Conor Carty (St Francis FC), Aaron Davies (Ratoath Harps), Alex Dunne (Belvedere FC), Ayodeji Sotona (Manchester United), Jack Funge (St Kevin’s Boys FC), James Furlong (St Joseph's Boys FC), Armstrong Okoflex (Arsenal), Harry Halwax (Leixlip United FC), Brandon Holt (Belvedere FC), Cian Kelly (St Joseph's Boys FC), Sean Kennedy (Tralee Dynamos FC), Seamus Keogh (Benbulben FC), Kian Leavy (St. Francis FC),Matthew Healy (College Corinthians), Sean McEvoy (St Kevin’s Boys FC), Troy Parrott (Belvedere FC), Timi Sobowale (Villa FC), Cormac Moore (St Francis FC).