The next seven days could all but secure European football for Shamrock Rovers in 2018.Sun, Sep 24 2017
Republic of Ireland under-16s manager Paul Osam has named a mainly home-based squad for the UEFA Development Tournament due to take place in Mayo later this month.
Ireland will face their counterparts from Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Denmark in a four-team round robin tournament with matches taking place in Westport, Castlebar and Ballina.
Osam will be without a number of players due to their ongoing involvement in the under-17 squad at the European Championships in Croatia while the majority of UK-based players miss out with exams.
"In international football you'd always prefer to have the strongest possible squad at your disposal but we have to adapt to the circumstances," said Osam.
"Firstly it gives some players who haven't been in before an opportunity to experience international football.
“It gives myself and the staff plus the under-17s head coach Colin O'Brien the chance to see these boys play so there are benefits.
"The new players have a challenge in that they need to take on a lot of information in a short time frame and ourselves in the staff have the challenge to pass that information on to them."
Impressive performances for the under-15s this year have earned call-ups for forwards Troy Parrott of Belvedere (soon to be Tottenham Hotspur), Matthew Everitt of Brighton & Hove Albion and Sean Kennedy of Tralee Dynamos.
"The younger players are there on merit,” said the former St Patrick's Athletic midfielder.
“Troy, Matthew and Sean have shown in their own age group that they are talented players.
“We've seen with Colin this year that players from the U16 age group went up to the U17s so it will be good for the younger guys to get a taste of this level.
"For all of the players this tournament will replicate what they can expect next year when they go into the UEFA U17 qualifiers with Colin so it's going to be beneficial playing international teams and be exposed to different styles of play."
Republic of Ireland under-16s to play Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Denmark:
Goalkeepers: Sean Bohan (Bohemians), Harry Clarke (St Patricks Athletic).
Defenders: Max Murphy (Bray Wanderers), Conor O'Reilly (Finn Harps), Kevin O'Reilly (St Patrick's Athletic), Oisin McEntee (Malahide United), Cian Trehy (Bohemians), Aaron Mulligan (Monaghan Cavan FP), Ray O'Sullivan (St Kevin's Boys).
Midfielders: Jason Knight (Derby County), Ross Tierney (St Kevin's Boys), Barry Coffey (Nenagh FC), Sean Mahon (St Patrick's Athletic), Jack Moylan (Bohemians), Sean Kennedy (Tralee Dynamos).
Forwards: Marc Walsh (Finn Harps), Ciaran Brennan (Waterford FC), Troy Parrott (Belvedere), Matthew Everitt (Brighton), Conor Grant (Shamrock Rovers).
UEFA Under-16 Development Tournament
Sunday, May 21
Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland, Westport United (15:00);
Kosovo v Denmark, Ballina (18:30)
Tuesday, May 23
Republic of Ireland v Kosovo, Solar 21 Park, Castlebar (18:30);
Denmark v Northern Ireland, Manulla (14:00)
Thursday, May 25
Denmark v Republic of Ireland, Solar 21 Park, Castlebar (10:00);
Northern Ireland v Kosovo, Westport United (10:00)