Tournament opening ceremony to precede the game
The Republic of Ireland Under-17s will kick off their involvement in the 2019 UEFA European Under-17 Championships by taking on Greece on Friday, May 3.
The first game in this year’s tournament will actually take place at 12:00 with Czech Republic facing Belgium in Tolka Park, although the official opening ceremony will be in Tallaght Stadium ahead of Ireland’s fixture at 19:00.
There has been a lot of promotion for the tournament over the last number of months, but Ireland simply want to focus on the football having spent a week fine-tuning their preparations at the FAI National Training Centre.
This is the third straight year that Ireland Head Coach Colin O’Brien has led a team into this tournament and his record to date is impressive with two quarter-final finishes.
But the Cork native will be hoping that his players can make the most of their home advantage.Sixteen teams will compete in this year’s tournament, which switches to a 90-minute format having previously been played over 80 minutes.
Five substitutions will be permitted per team and the top five teams will qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil.
There are no injury concerns for Ireland but goalkeeper Jimmy Corcoran is suspended after being sent off in their last competitive game – in the 2018 EURO quarter-final loss to Netherlands.
Republic of Ireland Head Coach Colin O’Brien
“We are excited about this challenge. It has been on our minds for two years ever since we knew that Ireland would be hosting this tournament and now it is here we want to embrace it.”The squad has been training and preparing well for our game against Greece.
“It is important that we begin as we mean to go on with a positive approach and a belief that we can go far in this tournament once we trust in our ability and bond as a team.”Even though we didn’t go through the qualifying rounds, we have used the last year to prepare as best as possible for this tournament and our staff has remained consistent, which is an important part of keeping the players focused on what they need to do.”
Republic of Ireland
Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Manchester City), Jimmy Corcoran (Preston North End), Harry Halwax (Derby County)
Defenders: Sean McEvoy (Ballinmallard United), Anselmo Garcia McNulty (Real Betis), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Timi Sobowale (Manchester City), James Furlong (Shamrock Rovers)
Midfielders: Charlie McCann (Manchester United), Joe Hodge (Manchester City), Brandon Holt (St Patrick’s Athletic), Seamas Keogh (Southampton), Ronan McKinley (Derry City), Sean Kennedy (Sunderland), Festy Ebsoele (Derby County), Roland Idowu (Southampton)
Forwards: Matt Everitt (Brighton & Hove Albion), Conor Carty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Joshua Giurgi (Norwich City)
Goalkeepers: Tzolakis Konstantinos (Olympiacos), Balomenos Konstantinos (PAOK)
Defenders: Aventisian Aventis (PAOK), Lazaridis Konstantinos (Panathinaikos), Manisoglou Georgios (Xanti AO), Tsavos Angelos (Olympiacos), Aslanidis Kyriakos (Olympiacos), Panagiotou Panagiotis (PAOK)
Midfielders: Grosdanis Pavlos (Pas Giannina), Grosdis Vasileios (PAOK), Karamperis Thomas (PAOK), Karakoutis Ioannis (PAOK), Pavlidis Vasileios (Schalke 04), Siatounis Antonios (Sampdoria), Arsenidis Dimitrios (Olympiacos), Liatsos Christos (Olympiacos)
Forwards: Tzolis Christos (PAOK), Belevonis Christos (Panetolikos), Sourlis Vasileios (Olympiacos), Kotopoulos Nektarios (Xanthi AO)
– Ireland and Greece have met seven times in qualifiers at Under-17 level, with Greece winning three, Ireland winning twice, and two draws- Ireland qualified automatically as host nation, but have played international friendly games against Turkey, Czech Republic, Germany, England, Belgium, Poland, and Finland over the last year- Greece finished second behind Belgium in their Qualifying Round with one win, one loss, and one draw. In the Elite Round, they lost to Spain but beat both Ukraine and Kosovo-
This is Ireland’s 12th appearance in this finals tournament with their best finish coming as champions in 1998 (when it was graded at Under-16 level)- This is Greece’s 13th appearance in this finals tournament with their best finish coming as runners-up in 1985 (when it was graded at Under-16 level)
Republic of Ireland v Greece
Friday, May 3
Live on TV: RTÉ2
Referee: Jorgen Burchardt (Denmark)
Game Hashtag: #IRLGRE
Tournament Hashtag: #U17EURO
Ireland Team Hashtag: #IRLU17
– Tickets will be available at Tallaght Stadium from 17:00, priced at €5 for adults and free for Under-16s- Tickets are still available online via Ticketmaster.ie