Colin O’Brien has named his panel for the upcoming Republic of Ireland Under-17 European Championship qualifiers.
The U-17 boss is confident that his side can be competitive at the mini group in Cyprus, but feels the high temperature will help the hosts.
“All the countries at this stage of the competition see a massive prize in front of them, which is trying to qualify for the finals,” said O’Brien.
“We’ll have to be focused in everything we do on the training pitch and in the games. We are happy with our preparation. We got through the first phase, had assessments and training games before Christmas then two friendly games in Spain last month.
“Certain things we did well in those games and in others we can improve upon. We’ve got players who can score goals but our defence kept clean sheets in the last two games which is a good sign.
“At the start of the season we aimed to have a competitive squad and it has stood to us. Three games in six days is very demanding on young players so its unlikely we’ll have the same 11 on the pitch every game. We could be playing in 22-24 degrees too which is something we’ll have our work done for. Cyprus will have the advantage being the home side obviously.”
Goalkeepers: Brian Maher (St Patrick’s Athletic), Kian Clarke (Bohemians)
Defenders: Lee O’Connor (Manchester United), Kameron Ledwidge (St Kevin’s Boys), Nathan Collins (Cherry Orchard), Jordan Doherty (Sheffield United), Aaron Bolger (Shamrock Rovers), Conor Coventry (West Ham United)
Midfielders: Brandon Kavanagh (Bohemians), Rowan Roache (Blackpool), Richie O’Farrell (St Patrick’s Athletic), Gavin Kilkenny (Bournemouth), Daryl Walsh (Waterford), Callum Thompson (Wolves), Luke Nolan (St Patrick’s Athletic)
Forwards: Adam Idah (Corinthians Boys), Glen McAuley (Liverpool), Aaron Connolly (Brighton)
UEFA U17 Championships Elite Qualifying Round – Group 8
Wednesday, March 15: Republic of Ireland v Faroe Islands, Paphiakos Stadium, Paphos (CYP) (12.15pm Irish Time)
Friday March 17: Republic of Ireland v Slovakia, Paphiakos Stadium, Paphos (CYP) (12.15pm Irish Time)
Monday, March 20: Cyprus v Republic of Ireland, Kouklia Community Stadium, Paphos (CYP) (12.00pm Irish Time).