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Thread: 2023 UEFA European Under-17 Championship

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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    can we draw Italy, since we faced them in the qualifiers?
    Nearly sure we can.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    can we draw Italy, since we faced them in the qualifiers?
    Yeah teams can draw the other team which also qualifed from their elite phase group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingdom View Post
    I disagree - results at these age groups are absolutely important - but they shouldn't be achieved to the mutual exclusion of player development. Ireland in the past decade and a half have performed super well at 17s and 19s. We've been dismal at 21s and our failure to compete at that age group has absolutely been a factor in the failure to progress positively at senior level.
    In my view, results are not important at this level or anything up to senior level. Player development is far more important. Yes, better coaching will probably lead to better results but reaching major tournaments and so on should not be the main priority. Developing technical ability, style of play, tactical acumen and so on are the essentials. And crucially, this should be spread to a large number of players. Youngsters develop at different speeds. You're denying players opportunity to develop by only picking the best 11 at their age group. Picking from a larger base of players will more than likely make results worse but in the long term, it will create a larger player base to select from who've received top level coaching and experienced playing at an elite level. This should also be replicated at all underage club level. Forget results until they become seniors.

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    you are ignoring the experience these kids get at tournaments , which is pretty invaluable at their age. i heard something from a guy from Belgiums FA about the u17 game they played vs us in tallaght in 2019. he said that high stakes game with both teams needing a result (Ireland win, Belg draw) to go through infront of 5k fans was about the equivalent of those lads getting 10 games in belgium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jd2793 View Post
    you are ignoring the experience these kids get at tournaments , which is pretty invaluable at their age. i heard something from a guy from Belgiums FA about the u17 game they played vs us in tallaght in 2019. he said that high stakes game with both teams needing a result (Ireland win, Belg draw) to go through infront of 5k fans was about the equivalent of those lads getting 10 games in belgium.
    No, I'm not. I've already said that:

    Quote Originally Posted by BOOMSHAKALAKA View Post
    Brilliant stuff. Results really shouldn't matter too much at this age group but more games at an elite level can only help. We're doing some things well somewhere.
    There needs to be some balance but only selecting players to try to qualify for tournaments instead of developing a wider crop is very short sighted and detrimental to a nations overall development. A player might be big for his age and give a higher chance of winning a game at u17 but a player sitting on the bench or at home might have more potential to make it at senior level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BOOMSHAKALAKA View Post
    There needs to be some balance but only selecting players to try to qualify for tournaments instead of developing a wider crop is very short sighted and detrimental to a nations overall development. A player might be big for his age and give a higher chance of winning a game at u17 but a player sitting on the bench or at home might have more potential to make it at senior level.

    I don’t think that really happens though. I'd imagine that could be true younger when players are going through puberty - but it’s not like a player like Kevin Zefi or Andy Moran or Joe Hodge wouldn’t have made the u17s due to being smaller at that age group. Besides, often those issues of physicality are more issues at senior level (eg Connor Ronan and Jack Byrne who played at every underage level growing up but there are legitimate concerns about their physicality)


    Managers make mistakes with their squads and generally they want to pick the best players but I’ve never really thought a big lad is only getting in because he’s big. Both Niall McAndrew and Romeo Akachukwu are big physical units - but so was Declan Rice at that age - they both have ample ability. Thinking back to the 2019 u17 side mentioned above, I was critical of Sean Kennedy, Roland Idowu and the third keeper being picked ahead of Mipo Odubeko, Mazeed Ogungbo and Dej Sotona - 4 years later and I still don’t understand it at all - but it wasn’t for those 3 lads lacking physicality - Ogungbo was called up to the 19s 3 months later, Mipo was and is a physical unit and Sotona was lightning quick. Looking back, maybe Dara Costelloe should have been brought in as well - but he was player senior football at age 15 for Galway - so once again, I’d doubt physicality was the issue.


    Same with the 19s - I’d question some players called up - but I’ve never felt the issue was a shortsightedness. 99 times out of 100, if you pick the best players available for the best positions, you’re picking the right squad.


    Take Dara O’Shea, plenty thought he was a physical specimen who wouldn’t have the footballing ability to play internationally, whereas Conor Masterson was the footballer, who once his body developed had the ability to play at a far higher level. Masterson got back injuries which really limited him and O’Shea became a better and better technical footballer relatively late, playing in a good academy - with outstanding mentality and work rate. Overall, pretty good that we didn’t ditch him for Conor McCarthy or Liam Scales or Luke McNally.


    It’s so hard to map how Player A is going go from underage football to senior football, all you can do is identify your really high potential players and give them opportunities to develop. And we do that well.

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  9. #107
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    It's OK to say results don't matter for u12s. When you are playing international football at u17 results absolutely matter. Learning how to win and the resilience to get there even when its hard couldn't be more important.

    That winning goal today in injury time only happened because 2 players were cool under immense pressure. That's a skill in itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elatedscum View Post
    I don’t think that really happens though. I'd imagine that could be true younger when players are going through puberty - but it’s not like a player like Kevin Zefi or Andy Moran or Joe Hodge wouldn’t have made the u17s due to being smaller at that age group. Besides, often those issues of physicality are more issues at senior level (eg Connor Ronan and Jack Byrne who played at every underage level growing up but there are legitimate concerns about their physicality)


    Managers make mistakes with their squads and generally they want to pick the best players but I’ve never really thought a big lad is only getting in because he’s big. Both Niall McAndrew and Romeo Akachukwu are big physical units - but so was Declan Rice at that age - they both have ample ability. Thinking back to the 2019 u17 side mentioned above, I was critical of Sean Kennedy, Roland Idowu and the third keeper being picked ahead of Mipo Odubeko, Mazeed Ogungbo and Dej Sotona - 4 years later and I still don’t understand it at all - but it wasn’t for those 3 lads lacking physicality - Ogungbo was called up to the 19s 3 months later, Mipo was and is a physical unit and Sotona was lightning quick. Looking back, maybe Dara Costelloe should have been brought in as well - but he was player senior football at age 15 for Galway - so once again, I’d doubt physicality was the issue.


    Same with the 19s - I’d question some players called up - but I’ve never felt the issue was a shortsightedness. 99 times out of 100, if you pick the best players available for the best positions, you’re picking the right squad.


    Take Dara O’Shea, plenty thought he was a physical specimen who wouldn’t have the footballing ability to play internationally, whereas Conor Masterson was the footballer, who once his body developed had the ability to play at a far higher level. Masterson got back injuries which really limited him and O’Shea became a better and better technical footballer relatively late, playing in a good academy - with outstanding mentality and work rate. Overall, pretty good that we didn’t ditch him for Conor McCarthy or Liam Scales or Luke McNally.


    It’s so hard to map how Player A is going go from underage football to senior football, all you can do is identify your really high potential players and give them opportunities to develop. And we do that well.
    Yes, I was only using that as an example of someone who could be left behind but my opinion is that the net can be too small in identifying players with potential. They usually get selected very young and stay in the set up throughout the age groups. Others who would flourish under high level coaching have been left aside. Give a larger number of players the opportunity and critically, give them actual game time and it will be more beneficial long term. Treat any results achieved as a bonus rather than a requirement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Razors left peg View Post
    It's OK to say results don't matter for u12s. When you are playing international football at u17 results absolutely matter. Learning how to win and the resilience to get there even when its hard couldn't be more important.

    That winning goal today in injury time only happened because 2 players were cool under immense pressure. That's a skill in itself.
    Obviously people disagree with me on this but I just think that's completely the wrong attitude. You're limiting the pool. The more players who get game time and learn skills like dealing with pressure the better. Coaches should be focused on developing key skills both physically and mentally rather than being tied down with result expectations. That's even for the u21's. You're more likely to develop a higher number of elite players by giving a higher number the opportunity. But I've made my point and I don't think anyone will change their opinion so I'll leave it there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Razors left peg View Post
    It's OK to say results don't matter for u12s. When you are playing international football at u17 results absolutely matter. Learning how to win and the resilience to get there even when its hard couldn't be more important.

    That winning goal today in injury time only happened because 2 players were cool under immense pressure. That's a skill in itself.
    My God, what a goal it was too. Superb finish. Who provided the pass? That's just the kind of player we need at Senior level. From the moment he got the ball he had one thing in mind: attack the space between the lines and find a pass. There was real purpose and commitment. Just recycling the ball was never on his mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuttgart88 View Post
    My God, what a goal it was too. Superb finish. Who provided the pass? That's just the kind of player we need at Senior level. From the moment he got the ball he had one thing in mind: attack the space between the lines and find a pass. There was real purpose and commitment. Just recycling the ball was never on his mind.
    It was Naj Razi, on the books at Shamrock Rovers you'll be glad to hear

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    Not sure if it's been mentioned on the thread yet - the top five teams from the finals in Hungary(all four semi-finalists and the winner of a play off) will qualify for the FIFA U17 World Cup in Peru in November
    Last edited by tetsujin1979; 14/03/2023 at 1:15 PM.
    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on mastodon, BlueSky and facebook

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    Quote Originally Posted by Razors left peg View Post
    It was Naj Razi, on the books at Shamrock Rovers you'll be glad to hear
    Great finish for the second goal too.
    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on mastodon, BlueSky and facebook

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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    Not sure if it's been mentioend on the thread yet - the top five teams from the finals in Hungary(all four semi-finalists and the winner of a play off) will qualify for the FIFA U17 World Cup in Peru in November
    It always irritates me how few qualification places there are for European teams at underage World Cups and the Olympics, which is mostly Under 23. Completely devalues these tournaments I think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BOOMSHAKALAKA View Post
    In my view, results are not important at this level or anything up to senior level.
    I'm open to different perspectives, but I absolutely disagree with this ^^^ in the international/continental context. Results are absolutely important, as they have consequences underage as they do at senior level. I don't know about player rotation in the initial qualifying stage, but I do know that generally speaking the first qualifying round stage is a doddle for Ireland, as we get handy groups based on past performance.

    Player development is far more important. Yes, better coaching will probably lead to better results but reaching major tournaments and so on should not be the main priority. Developing technical ability, style of play, tactical acumen and so on are the essentials.
    You're forgetting (or perhaps not) that these players will have been examined in depth in the player development squads for the past 5/6 years at this stage. Just about every county now has academies that take in players from a very wide base from 11 yrs of age. It is virtually impossible for a kid to go under the radar these days. The one mitigating factor is the late development - be that physical, technical or mental development. And there is no accounting for that.

    And crucially, this should be spread to a large number of players. Youngsters develop at different speeds. You're denying players opportunity to develop by only picking the best 11 at their age group. Picking from a larger base of players will more than likely make results worse but in the long term, it will create a larger player base to select from who've received top level coaching and experienced playing at an elite level. This should also be replicated at all underage club level. Forget results until they become seniors.
    That does happen at club level. Remember this isn't club level - it's international football, whether you agree or not. It would be fundamentally wrong - to the players picked, and to the players not picked - to select for the international squad (not team) players who are unfit at that time to be playing at that level. We breed success* at 17s and 19s. We have not bred success at 21s and it is a gap that we've struggled forever to address. It has only been with the change in focus at schoolboy level (and it's not perfect, by a long shot), that we've built squads and large squads at that of players who can hold their own at 21s level as shown in the past two campaigns.

    Success breeds success.

    *Success for a country like Ireland is relative - qualifying for finals in the short term is success.
    Last edited by tetsujin1979; 14/03/2023 at 12:26 PM. Reason: embedded quotes
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  20. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by BOOMSHAKALAKA View Post
    But I've made my point and I don't think anyone will change their opinion so I'll leave it there.
    If a handful more people on this forum could follow your lead here it'd be a much better place. So many threads get derailed with people trying to win a pointless, unwinnable argument. You've made your point, something I understand but don't agree with. Leave it there.

    I couldn't believe the finish when I saw the video of the winner. I read that was his first touch as well, unbelievably cool to have such good technical ability under those circumstances.

    The aim for this team should be world cup qualification. Clubs here should be signing these lads up to 3/4 year contracts now because their valuation will shoot up if they perform on these big stages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Razors left peg View Post
    It was Naj Razi, on the books at Shamrock Rovers you'll be glad to hear
    Some day a commentator is going to make an awful spoonerism.

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  23. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by yurt View Post
    If a handful more people on this forum could follow your lead here it'd be a much better place. So many threads get derailed with people trying to win a pointless, unwinnable argument. You've made your point, something I understand but don't agree with. Leave it there.
    I'm around the forum long enough to remember when it was a better place, when it was worth engaging with. i'll leave it there.
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  25. #119
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    Under-17s progress in spite of the stark lack of adequate support for Irish club
    https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/soc...r-irish-clubs/
    (Paywalled article, the usual workarounds will work around it)

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    Article is probably based off this tweet. NI, Andorra, and Luxembourg are the other four but NI have started up a national academy and Luxembourg have been doing that for the last twenty years with underage teams often involved in the youth leagues in Germany.


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