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Thread: 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championships

  1. #541
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    Quote Originally Posted by elatedscum View Post
    Saw Mandriou has been linked with a Dutch side, FC Twente. Maybe Jack Byrne could advise him of the merits of the move. Definitely a step up from LOI and if he does well there, are probably a platform to move to a better club
    Now this is interesting, love to see our lads begin to look beyond the UK game and the chance to do so opening up.

  2. #542
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    And Kevin Zefi reported to be headed for Inter:
    https://twitter.com/noriordan/status...522894336?s=19

  3. #543
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    i think it'll happen a lot more frequently now. especially kids around Zefi's age. At some point during Brexit, not really sure when, perhaps now, the EU exemption regarding the movement of players under 18 will no longer apply to England and Scotland, meaning their academies can't bring in U18s from outside the country (except when the family moves to the UK for entirely non-footballing reasons). That's the reason Evan Ferguson's move to Brighton was cancelled.

    So with England and Scotland off the table, there'll be plenty of European clubs looking to Ireland and plenty of Irish kids looking to Europe.

    Hard to tell if it's a good thing yet, it's certainly the great unknown. For better or worse, England has been the primary route for the past 30 years. Obviously it's closer to home and easier to arrange flights to and from Dublin and there's no language barrier. But the structures in place in English clubs regarding reserve football often make the transition harder and generally English clubs are financially sound enough that they rarely need to rely on academy players.

    I'd say you'll have some kids sticking around till 18, that was briefly en vogue with the likes of Aaron Bolger, Trev Clarke and Brandon Kavanagh sticking around at Rovers, it looked like that might become more prevalent. But with those lads struggling and with the departure of Bazunu to England, someone else left Rovers who i can't remember now, then the likes of Sinclair and Zefi look destined for Europe now, it looks like they haven't been really able to keep the brightest talents. Whether Italy or Inter is ideal is another question, my only recent knowledge of them is the handling of Ryan Nolan which hasn't really worked out too well. Maybe in a decade France or Germany or Spain could become the prime location

    Bohs have kept Andy Lyons and there's a few other good lads like Tierney, Grant, Ferguson and Devoy who have only played in Ireland so far. But they primarily seem to be doing a good job of signing lads who return home from the UK and integrating them into first team football (Leahy, Talbot, Mandriou, Finnerty, Levingstone, Thompson, McAuley etc etc).

    It'll certainly be an interesting few years...
    Last edited by elatedscum; 26/07/2020 at 1:30 PM.

  4. #544
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    Great post and very true on all fronts in terms of the variety of routes and uncertainty (like everything else at present).

    I think James Furlong is the lad you are referring to that left Rovers.

  5. #545
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    As things stand December 31st is the Brexit cut off. Players need to be 16 before then to go to England.

    Hard to know for sure if players are better staying or going at that age. Take for example Bazunu. If he stayed he'd have played another year or more of first team football in Ireland. But then he might learn a lot about goalkeeping in the Man City academy too, especially the distribution side of the position working alongside someone like Ederson.

    Maybe signing players and loaning them back, with "holiday" stints in the UK academies alongside first team football in Ireland might be an option, if that can be done legally.

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  7. #546
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    It's a while away yet but we're going to be looking at a slightly depleted looking Under 21 team for the rest of the qualifiers. Strong probability that Connolly, Molumby and O'Shea will no longer be available. Potentially Obafemi, Smallbone, Knight, maybe even Idah might be senior callups as well and Travers will presumably stay with the Seniors also.

    Even then though, we still have the potential to put together a decent enough squad.

    GK:Kelleher/Bazunu
    RB: L O'Connor/McNamara
    LB: T O'Connor/Burke/Clarke
    CB: Collins/Scales
    CB: Masterson/O'Hora
    CM: Coventry/Connell
    CM: Knight/Hodge/Taylor
    CM: Smallbone/Ronan
    LW: Ferry/Scully
    RW: Obafemi/Kilkenny/Elbouzedi
    CF: Idah/Parrott/Afolabi

    Getting a bit tight on cover in central defence if O'Shea moves up, but otherwise still looking pretty strong.

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  9. #547
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    I think you can forget about Connolly, Obafemi, Molumby, Smallbone and O'Shea all things going well. They're more than worth a senior call up at this point.

    Without them it's still shockingly strong when you compare it to some of the squads we had before where, like when we had a clubless Grego-Cox leading the line.

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