23 January 2012
The FAI Schools U18 provisional squad will host Australia in an International Friendly on Friday next, January 27 at the Oscar Traynor Centre, Coolock (KO 2pm)
The friendly match will be a pre-cursor to Ireland’s Centenary Shield campaign which commences on March 16 with a home game against Northern Ireland in Limerick. The Irish will also face Scotland in the RSC, Waterford (March 30), Wales (April 12) and England (April 26). The conclusion of Ireland Shield campaign will be televised live from Brighton on Sky Sports that evening.
The two sides last met two years ago. The hosts were victorious on a 3-1 score-line, two of the Irish goals coming in the first half. Both teams enjoyed a draw in the 2007/08 encounter which was also played in the same venue.
Manager Ollie Horgan is looking forward to the challenge stating that “this game will prove to be highly competitive and a valuable exercise for the team’s preparation in the Centenary Shield”. The Irish management have yet to finalise the panel of 18 players to represent the Republic in the Centenary Shield series and will be using this friendly as part of the selection process.
The Republic of Ireland has a wealth of experience with Ryan Matthews (Clonkeen College, Blackrock) and Colm Horgan (Coláiste Einde, Salthill) who were capped for FAI Schools last season making a welcome return. The experience that this duo brings to the team will be instrumental in Ireland’s success in 2012.
The Salthill Devon star will be following in his brother’s boots as he takes to the field against Australia on Friday. Daryl enjoyed a great campaign with FAI Schools during the 2009/10 season as he helped Ireland capture the Centenary Shield in Burton Albion that year. This was the team’s fifth title in eight years. Colm will be well aware of Daryl’s successes at this level as his brother scored the second of Ireland’s goals against the Aussies to secure victory for the Irish. No doubt Colm will be looking for a repeat performance as he togs out for the Schools side this week.
Colm is well used to representing his country as he has worn the green jersey on a number of occasions last year. U17 Irish Head Coach John Morling capped the youngster last March as the Republic competed in the U17 Elite qualifying phase last March. He also starred in the U18 home based International against Wales in August. Horgan was joined by Limerick’s Barry Sheedy (Coláiste Iósaef, Kilmallock) and Sean Russell (Coláiste Phadraig, Lucan) that afternoon as the trio got a run out against the Welsh outfit.
Timmy Molloy who is a team mate of Horgan’s at Salthill Devon will be itching to make the starting eleven as will St. Macartan’s student Ferghal McMahon as the Monaghan United player makes the cut for the first of Ireland’s games this year.
Limerick CBS, Sexton Street and PBC (Presentation Brothers College), Cork have been kingpins of Munster schools soccer in recent years. Both schools have been drawn against each other in the semi final of the Dr. Tony O’Neill Cup next week. This tantalising tie will no doubt produce some rivalry among the schools as history dictates. This will have to be left to one side for the next few days as Reece Healy (Limerick CBS) and Brian Linehan (PBC) will join forces as they represent Ireland at schools level.
CBS High School star Evan Comerford and Clonaslee VC student Niall Corbett will go head to head for the goalkeeping position on Friday afternoon. Both players were excellent in the Interprovincial series and it will prove a difficult call for Goalkeeping Coach Rithie Fitzgibbon.
CBS Kilkenny star Sean Maguire had an excellent campaign for Leinster in the Interprovincial series also. He led his side to a toughly fought victory for John McShane troops which ensured Leinster’s fifth consecutive title.
Comeragh College pupil Jack Doherty will prove a welcome addition to the team as he lines out alongside club mate Maguire on Friday afternoon.
Cork has produced some wonderful school players in their day. There is no exception this season either as Rob Lehane of Douglas Community School makes the cut. Lehane plays his club football with Cork City U19’s and has been enjoying his spell with the club in recent months. Their latest victory came just last Sunday against local rivals Cobh Ramblers. The victory ensures their progression in the Enda McGuill Cup but more importantly they maintain their advantage at the summit of the league table.
Carrigaline student Anthony O’Donnell impressed the Irish management who was inspirational at the heart of the Munster defence over the three day interpro series. The youngster will be one to watch out for this season.
St. Patrick’s Athletic trio Adam O’Connor, Eoin Hyland and Conor Pepper are enjoying mixed fortunes this season in their league campaign but will be hoping for better things as they join forces with Leinster colleagues Pierce Sweeney (Colaiste Raithin, Bray), Paul Moffat (Clonkeen College) and Gareth Brady (Pobailscoil Neasain) as they look to book their place onto the Centenary Shield panel.
The Australian Schools’ team embark on their European tour with a comprehensive list of fixtures to fulfil. The team have already played Wales (January 20) and Northern Ireland (January 25) while they have forthcoming fixtures against Republic of Ireland (28 January) and England (January 29) as well as numerous club games. The Aussies are known for the physical presence on the field and it should prove a good run out for the lads in advance of their home game to Northern Ireland on March 16.
The Australian Schools delegation will also field a girl’s U18 team who will showcase their talent against the FAI’s U19 emerging talent squad on Friday evening at the AUL complex with an 8pm kick off scheduled.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND U18 SCHOOLS: Evan Comerford (CBS High School, Clonmel), Niall Corbet (Clonaslee VS, Laois), Adam O’Connor (Drimnagh Castle), Eoin Hyland (Oatlands College), Ferghal McMahon (St. Macarthan’s College, Monaghan), Pierce Sweeney (Colaiste Raithlin, Bray), Ryan Matthews (Clonkeen College, Blackrock), Colm Horgan (Colaiste Einde, Salthill), Anthony O’Donnell (Carrigaline Community School), Reece Healy (CBS Sexton Street, Limerick), Timmy Molloy (Colaiste Iognaid, Galway), Brian Lenihan (PBC, Cork), Paul Moffat (Clonkeen College), Gareth Brady (Pobalscoil Neasain, Balboyle), Sean Russell (Colaiste Phadraig, Lucan), Jack Doherty (Comeragh College), Rob Lehane (Douglas Community School), Barry Sheedy (Colaiste Iosaef, Kilmallock), Sean Maguire (CBS Kilkenny), Conor Pepper (Portmarnock Community School)
MANAGEMENT: Ollie Horgan, St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny (Manager), Dave Archbold Palmerstown School (Assistant Manager), Hugh Colhoun, St. Laurence College, Loughlinstown (Coach), Richard Fitzgibbon, (GK Coach), Mickey McGlynn (Physio), Aidan O’Colmain (Doctor).
AUSTRALIA U18 SCHOOLS: Luke Turnbull, Tomas Maricic, Izach Clements, James Verdin, Guy Knight, Ryan Keir, Kieren Paull, Travis Cooper, Stevan Ilic,Chernor Bah, Ashley Denniss, Scott Witschge, James Millar, Friday Zico, Stefan Sacilotto, Lochland Reus, Matthew Bilic, Ryan Meskell
MANAGEMENT: Peter Rickers (Coach), David Storey (Manager), Dylan Hughes (Trainer)
REFEREE: Damian Kilpatrick (Dublin)
BOYS’ INTERNATIONAL FIXTURES:
16.03.12 FAI Schools (Boys) v Northern Ireland (CS) in Pike Rovers FC, Limerick
30.03.12 FAI Schools (Boys) v Scotland (CS) in RSC, Waterford
12.04.12 FAI Schools (Boys) v Wales (CS) in Carmarthen
26.04.12 FAI Schools (Boys) v England (CS) in Brighton (Live on Sky Sports)
CS = Centenary Shield
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