Our U16 side suffered a disappointing three one defeat by Northern Ireland in their opening Victory Shield contest played in Mounthawk Park, Tralee early on Monday evening. After a scoreless first half the North took the lead on sixty two minutes but Ireland equalised just a minute later through Fulham striker Oliver O’Neill. The push for the winner proved counter productive as the visitors scored twice in the closing stages for a victory they just about deserved.
Manager Martin O’Neill has announced his revised senior squad for the upcoming contests with Northern Ireland and Denmark. Twenty eight players were involved in training at Abbotstown this morning with U19 captain Lee O’Connor of Manchester United being amongst that number, but purely for training purposes only. Glenn Whelan will lead Ireland in his farewell appearance in the friendly against Northern Ireland on Thursday evening before departing the scene. Matt Doherty, named in the revised squad, has not yet joined the Group and is receiving treatment at his club Wolves following a head injury incurred in their draw at Arsenal on Sunday afternoon. Teenagers Caoimhin Kelleher and Michael Obafemi have both been retained. Injury ruled out Shane Long and Derrick Williams while Sean McDermott, Ciaran Clark, Greg Cunningham, Jimmy Dunne, Ryan Manning and Richie Towell have been jettisoned from the provisional squad announced last week.
Goalkeepers: Colin Doyle, Caoimhin Kelleher, Darren Randolph
Defenders: Cyrus Christie, Seamus Coleman, Matt Doherty, Shane Duffy, John Egan, Richard Keogh, Darragh Lenihan, Kevin Long, Enda Stevens
Midfielders: Harry Arter, Robbie Brady, Alan Browne, Jeff Hendrick, Conor Hourihane, James McClean, David Meyler, Callum O’Dowda, Shaun Williams
Forwards: Ronan Curtis, Scott Hogan, Sean Maguire, Michael Obafemi, Aiden O’Brien, Callum Robinson
Our U16 side, under the watchful eye of Head Coach Paul Osam, compete in the Quadrangular Victory Shield Tournament. We host the Tournament, which we have won for the past two years, in Kerry this week. The Tournament opens in St Brendan’s Park at 1pm on Monday afternoon when Scotland take on Wales, while we face Northern Ireland in Mounthawk Park at 6pm that evening. We will take on Wales at 1pm on Wednesday afternoon in Mounthawk Park and complete our challenge against Scotland at 1pm on Friday afternoon at Tralee Dynamos FC.
Our U17 side went down to a three two defeat by the Czech Republic in their second Invitation Tournament encounter in Tallaght Stadium this Sunday afternoon. The visitors led one nil at half-time but Ireland, with three second half changes, scored twice in quick succession through Anselmo Garcia MacNulty (Real Betis) and Sean Kennedy (Sunderland) to take the lead. The visitors equalised from the penalty spot on 63 minutes and scored the winner in an elongated period of added time. Ireland face Germany in their concluding contest in Tallaght Stadium at 1pm on Wednesday afternoon.
The three right backs named in the Ireland squad this week are all in Premier League action this Sunday afternoon. Cyrus Christie started for Fulham in their two nil defeat at Liverpool in the mid-day kick off while Seamus Coleman led Everton in their scoreless draw at Chelsea. Matt Doherty was in action for Wolverhampton Wanderers who played out a one all draw with Arsenal in the Emirates Stadium later in the afternoon.
Greg Cunningham returned to the Cardiff City starting eleven for their two one Premier League victory over visitors Brighton & Hove Albion for whom Shane Duffy was in central defence. Declan Rice was in midfield for West Ham United who secured a point in a one all draw at Huddersfield Town. Kevin Long started in central defence for Burnley who played out a scoreless draw at Leicester City while Jeff Hendrick (55 minutes) and Robbie Brady (65 minutes) were second half substitutes for the ‘Clarets’. Ciaran Clark was introduced by Newcastle United on 78 minutes of their two one defeat of visitors AFC Bournemouth while Michael Obafemi was a last minute substitute for Southampton who drew one each with visitors Watford.
Darragh Lenihan was in central defence for Blackburn Rovers who were held to a one all Championship draw by Ewood Park visitors Rotherham United who included Ryan Manning and Richie Towell in their starting eleven on Saturday afternoon. Callum O’Dowda was an unused substitute for Bristol City who went down to a one nil home defeat by Preston North End for whom Callum Robinson scored the winning goal. Fellow striker Sean Maguire also started while Alan Browne was a seventy fourth minute substitute. Derby County, captained by Richard Keogh, suffered an emphatic three nil home defeat by visitors Aston villa for whom Conor Hourihane scored a magnificent free kick goal. Scott Hogan got a few substitute minutes at the end of the contest while Glenn Whelan was an unused substitute. Darren Randolph kept another clean sheet as his Middlesbrough secured a two nil home victory over Wigan Athletic. Leaders Norwich City defeated visitors Millwall by four goals to three with Shaun Williams in his customary midfield role for the ‘Lions’ while Aiden O’Brien was unused on the substitute bench. James McClean completed an industrious ninety minutes for Stoke City in their scoreless draw at Nottingham Forest while Alan Judge was a first half added time substitute for Brentford in their three two defeat at QPR.
In the first round of the FA Cup, Ronan Curtis was named man of the match for Portsmouth who defeated their non-league hosts Maidenhead United by four goals to nil.