Ireland were the first team to qualify from the Elite Round
Republic of Ireland Under-19 Head Coach Tom Mohan intends to call on the strength-in-depth in his squad for tomorrow’s final UEFA European Under-19 Championship Elite Round match against Russia.
Ireland go into the game having already qualified for this year’s Tournament Finals in Armenia with a game to spare following wins over Romania and Azerbaijan in the Russian city of Krasnodar.
Mohan’s side were the first team to qualify for the tournament and could end the campaign as the only side to win six games from six, should they beat the hosts Russia tomorrow afternoon.
Speaking ahead of the game, Mohan said the mood in the camp is high, after Saturday’s win.
“The lads are in great form. It’s a fantastic achievement by everyone to qualify, knowing how difficult it is to qualify for a Finals. The last couple of years have been so close, but it’s great such a relief to get through.”
Some of the players in Mohan’s squad could play in a European Finals now for the third year in a row, and the Head Coach praised the work done at all levels within underage international football.
“It’s testament to the work being done at underage level. Some of the lads went to two Under-17 Finals with Colin O’Brien in the past two years too.”
With all the success on the field, Mohan was quick to praise all the work done off the field.
“The Technical Staff of Mick Neville, Colin Healy, Dermot O’Neill, Darren McGarry and Mickey Feeney have all been brilliant. Alongside the Medical Staff of Dr. Andrew Delaney, Mick Spillane and Mickey McGlynn, our kitman John Crudden, Team Operations Executive Cathal O’Connor and our Head of Delegation Joe O’Brien, everyone has been fantastic in preparing the team to qualify.”
Ireland’s final match of the Elite Round kicks off tomorrow at 14:00 Irish time against Russia in Krasnodar.
Republic of Ireland Under-19 Squad
Goalkeepers: Brian Maher (St Patrick’s Athletic), George McMahon (Burnley)
Defenders: Andy Lyons (Bohemians), Tom Gaston (Bordeaux), Mark McGuinness (Arsenal), Oisin McEntee (Newcastle United), Jack James (Luton Town), Kameron Ledwidge (Southampton)
Midfielders: Niall Morahan (Sligo Rovers), Aaron Bolger (Shamrock Rovers), Jason Knight (Derby County), Luca Connell (Bolton Wanderers), Will Smallbone (Southampton), Conor Grant (Sheffield Wednesday), Richie O’Farrell (UCD)
Forwards: Ali Reghba (Bohemians), Will Ferry (Southampton), Festy Ebosele (Derby County), Tyriek Wright (Aston Villa), Jonathan Afolabi (Southampton)
2019 UEFA European Under-19 Championship – Elite Round Qualifiers
March 20: Republic of Ireland 5-0 Romania
March 23: Republic of Ireland 3-1 Azerbaijan
March 26: Republic of Ireland v Russia, FC Krasnodar Academy Stadium, KO 17:00 (14:00 Irish Time)