U16 Manager Tom O’Connor looks forward to games in Kerry

Ireland U16s squad named for friendly games against Estonia

REPUBLIC of Ireland U16 Head Coach Tom O’Connor has named his squad for two forthcoming friendly matches against Estonia in Kerry.

The two sides will meet at Listowel Celtic FC on Tuesday, September 24 (4.30pm). then will meet again at Killarney Celtic FC’s ground on Thursday, September 26 (7.00pm).

At U16 level last season the Irish side had a successful year which concluded with victory in an invitational tournament including Germany in May. The players moving up to U16 level this season had a successful campaign at U15 level including beating Juventus in Qatar in December.

“This is the first game of new campaign and myself and the coaching staff are all looking forward to it,” said O’Connor.

“These games are the starting of the preparation for the players for next year’s UEFA U17 Championship qualifiers. The whole objective of the games this season is to pan the squad out, include more players and give more lads experience of international football.

“L:ast year was a very successful one for us which culminated in winning the inaugural tournament in Dublin and from there we went on and produced two very good performance with a home-based squad against Celtic and Hibernian FC in August.”

O’Connor explained how the U16’s playing style is focused on technical play and building on the work the squad does at the 12 national ETP centres around the country.

“We’ve been using the 4-3-3 system with this age group for a few seasons. It coincides with what the players are being taught at the emerging talent programme,” he said.

“Estonia played us last year and they were pleased to come over here again. We try to play a build-up game from the back through the thirds, passing it through the lines.

“These games are excellent for us because we have the opportunity to take it to the likes of Killarney and Listowel. It’s Listowel’s 50th anniversary so it’s fitting that we should visit them.

“The last time we played there in 2008 Mario Goetze played for Germany and he is now a Champions League star. It shows you what can be achieved by these young players. Some of the players are from Cork and Kerry so it’s a good opportunity for them to play for their country in front of a home crowd as well.”

Republic of Ireland U16 squad:

Conor Masterson Lucan United FC

Sean Whelan Lucan United FC

Jamie Ahern Lucan United FC

Stephen Kinsella Templeogue Utd FC

Conor Davis Templeogue Utd FC

Avis Ganiyu Templeogue Utd FC

Robbie McCourt St Kevin’s Boys FC

Daniel Mandareu St Kevin’s Boys FC

Ross Treacy St Kevin’s Boys FC

Eric Donnelly Home Farm FC

Jean Yves Poame Corduff FC

Zachary Elbouzedi Malahide United AFC

Nathan Seery Malahide United AFC

JJ Lunney Malahide United AFC

Mark Buckley College Corinthians FC

Jesse Stafford Lacey St Brendan’s FC

Stephen Nolan BT Harps FC