New Republic of Ireland Under 21 manager Stephen Kenny saw his first selection, predominantly comprised of home based players, secure a deserved one nil success over a Republic of Ireland Amateur side at Home Farm FC this Wednesday evening.
Kenny was true to his word, emphasised on his visit to RISSC (London) last week, as he set his first selection up in a 4-1-4-1 format to play a possession game. Given the very short preparation period and the dismally wet conditions this evening, his charges did a fine job in seeking to implement the game plan.
It did take a little while for the process to click into gear but it did and the winning goal was scored after thirty five minutes by Brandon Kavanagh who finished off some excellent build up play from UCD winger Neil Farrugia. There were several other passages of fine play against their more physically imposing opponents and substitute Robbie McCourt was unlucky with a shot which hit the post.
Save for back-up goalkeeper Ross Treacy and the injured Darragh Leahy, all of the other seven substitutes received some game time, albeit a few had just a couple of minutes at the finale.
Star of the show was UCD winger Neil Farrugia, while holding midfielder Jamie Lennon of St Patrick’s Athletic, who captained the side,and Waterford midfielder Zachary Elbouzedi also caught the eye.
Team: C Kearns; A Lyons, C McCarthy, L Scales, TR Clarke; J Lennon; Z Elbouzedi, A Bolger, B Kavanagh, N Farrugia; A Drinan
Substitutes: R Treacy(Unused), D Leahy(Injured), S Todd, D Mandriou, J Keaney, R McCourt, M O’Connor, W Fitzgerald, K O’Sullivan