- No eL based players (no CP O'Brien) in the squad although some guy playing with Ross County (scot div 1) gets a call up.
Brian Kerr has named an eighteen-man panel for the U19 European Championship Intermediary round first-leg play-off with Holland for March 20th.
The first leg will be played in Rotterdam with the return fixture pencilled in for April 10th in Cork.
Unfortunately, the Irish boys will have to play the Dutch without a number of key personnel including Keith Gilroy, Liam Kearney and Reinor Moore who all miss out with injuries.
The full squad is as follows:
Wayne Henderson (Aston Villa), Brian Murphy (Manchester City), Stephen Brennan (Newcastle United), Stephen Capper (Sunderland), Pat McCarthy (Manchester City), Stephen Paisley (Manchester City), Mark Rossiter (Sunderland), Stephen Kelly (Spurs), Sean Thornton (Tranmere Rovers).
Graham Ward (Wolves), Ian Simpemba (Wycombe Wanderers), Michael Foley (Liverpool), Glenn Whelan (Manchester City), Darryl McMahon (West Ham), Adrian Deane (Charlton), Joe Daly (Stockport County), Stephen Elliot (Manchester City), Conor Gethins (Ross County).
Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr has announced his squad of 22 players for the second leg of the Under 19 European Championship qualifier against the Netherlands on Wednesday 10th April at Turners Cross, Cork (Kick-off 7:30pm).
Kerr's lads won the first leg 2-1 in Rotterdam on March 20th and will hope to complete the job and win thier place in the finals to be held in Norway next month.
He has added Saul Deeney (Notts County) Keith Graydon&Glenn Lacey( both Sunderland) and Reiner Moor (Exeter City) to the 18 that he had in Rotterdam.
Still out with injuries are Stephen Brennan, Michael Foleyand Darryl McMahon and their replacements in the original squad Fiachra McArdail, Clive Ross and George Snee keep their spots in the squad.
Wayne Henderson, Brian Murphy, Saul Deeney, Clive Ross, Mark Rossiter, Stephen Kelly, Stephen Capper, Pat McCarthy, Stephen Paisley, Graham Ward, Sean Thornton, Glenn Whelan, Keith Graydon, Fiachra McArdail, Conor Gethins, Glenn Lacey, Reiner Moor, Jonathon Daly, George Snee, Stephen Elliot, Adrian Deane.
IRELAND will look to the highly rated Tranmere Rovers midfield player, Sean Thornton, to help them complete the double over Netherlands at Turner’s Cross on Saturday, April 20, and so qualify for the European Championship Youths’ finals in Norway in July. Thornton, who scored the winning goal in a 2-1 Irish success in the first leg in Rotterdam two weeks ago, was the subject of a £1m transfer bid by Sunderland earlier this season.
Drogheda-born Thornton is a son of former Irish middleweight boxing champion, John Thornton. He delivered the knock-out blow with a stunning volley from 25 yards in the 90th minute of a very tense first-leg.
The goal added to an earlier strike by substitute Stephen Elliott of Manchester City, gave Ireland a precious lead for the second leg in Cork, and maintained the extraordinary run of success of team manager Brian Kerr. In five play-off matches since he took over as youth team manager five years ago, Kerr has never seen his team lose away from home.
He warned yesterday, however, that the tie was far from over and Ireland still had much to do if they were to deny Netherlands. The Dutch, he predicted, would have a stronger team in action in Cork.
“I remember this group of players from two years ago when they finished third in the European U16 Championships in Israel,” he said, “they went farther than we did then so we don’t need any further warning about their potential.”
The Dutch were short key players in the first leg, including two Feyenoord players who were needed by their club for Champions’ League action. Also missing was the chief playmaker at Ajax this season, Van Der Vaart, who was injured.
Said Kerr: “It needed a very good display to win the first leg. It was a very disciplined and organised performance by Ireland and the key to our win was the fact that we allowed them only one scoring chance. Nothing less than an equally committed performance will do us now.”
Kerr released the names of the 22 players in his squad yesterday and unfortunately he was unable to consider five injured players, three of whom would almost certainly have made the starting team. They are Stephen Brennan (Newcastle United), Liam Kearney (Nottingham Forest) and Michael Foley (Liverpool) who were prominent when Ireland won a qualifying group that included Latvia, Croatia and Austria to earn the right to play Netherlands.
All three players are injured with Cork-born Kearney, a left-wing star while Ireland sparkled in the qualifying tournament in Cork and Cobh, recovering from surgery on an ankle injury and he will be sadly missed. Also out because of injury are Keith Gilroy (Middlesbrough) and Dara McMahon (West Ham).
Included in the squad is the exciting Jonathan Daly (Stockport County), who scored twice against Croatia and once against Latvia in the qualifiers. Daly has been kept out of the Stockport team recently by suspension but he was promoted last week to Ireland’s U21 team and came in as substitute against Denmark at Turner’s Cross.
Daly’s reaction to the atmosphere at that match has excited interest within the squad of U19 players for the Championship game against Netherlands. An estimated 7,000 fans turned up to see Denmark and the atmosphere that was created was very much appreciated by the players.
Munster Football Association officers, who are organising the game, predicted yesterday that all tickets would be sold in advance. Tickets went on sale yesterday at €10 for adults and €2 for juveniles under 16 years. Juvenile tickets will not allow access to the Doney Forde Stand because of capacity restrictions but juveniles will have access to all other areas of the stadium.
Ireland’s U19 squad: W. Henderson (Aston Villa), B. Murphy (Manchester City), J. Soldini (Notts County), C. Ross (Bolton Wanderers), M. Rossiter (Sunderland), S. Kelly (’Spurs), S. Capper (Sunderland), P. McCarthy (Manchester City), S. Paisley (Manchester City), B. Ward (Wolves), S. Thornton (Tranmere Rovers), G. Whelan (Manchester City), K. Graydon (Sunderland), I. Simpemba (Wycombe Wanderers), F. McArdil (Derby County), C. Gethins (Notts County), G. Lacey (Sunderland), R. Moor (Exeter City), J. Daly (Stockport County), G. Snee (’Spurs), S. Elliott (Manchester City), A. Deane (Charlton Athletic).
I think its a case of no players here being good enough to be honest, Brian Kerr isn't one to overlook the league because of some misguided notion, if the players were here he'd pick them. The problem is most of the players in that squad should be playing here, and all of the under 16 squad should still be here. There's a bit about a 1 million offer for that Thornton lad to Tranmere - thats 1 million that should be going to an Eircom league side, not some third rate Scouser outfit. Unfortunately this league can't and won't go anywhere until this problem is sorted out, no league can survive when its future top players are stolen for nothing before they're even 15 years old.
The lack of action on the part of the FAI and the clubs on this issue is robbing the country of a decent standard league (no disrespect to the current players, they do their best, but take the potential best players out of any league and it'll look very ordinary). Also, the kids themselves deserve better than the treatment a lot of them get when they become unwanted over in england. Looks like UEFA can't/won't do anything about it, so the clubs have to provide a decent alternative i.e. top class training facilities, educational programs etc. The top players will still go abroad, but at least when they do the clubs should be able to get what they're worth in return. I suppose there's not much point in me ranting on about this though, the FAI don't give a rats arse about this league anyway.