Sean McCaffrey yesterday named a 19 man squad to face Poland in a double header friendly on Tuesday April 6 and Thursday April 8. The fixtures will take place in Tolka Park with both matches kicking off at 7.30pm.
The 19 players were chosen from a pool of 30 players who attended a training camp at Bisham Abbey in England in February this year. The group spent five days at the purpose-built training facility to work on tactics and formations and these friendlies will focus the minds of the players before heading off to the Ukraine.
The squad includes players that have risen through the international ranks from Under 17's such as Ger Hanley, Johnny Dunleavy, Richie Towell, Gavin Gunning, Aaron Doran and Conor Hourihane while some will be making their international debuts: Ian McLoughlin, Cian Bolger, Thomas McBride, Sean Kinsella and Charlie Collins.
Manager Sean McCaffrey said, "We will be using these friendlies to bed down how we are going to play in the elites. Poland are a good side, they are also competing in the elite phase of the European championships so they will be looking for a competitive double header. We were able to get a lot of preparation work done in the training camp in Bisham Abbey so hopefully the players will use what they learnt against what will be tough opposition."
He added, "It is unfortunate that a number of players are not available for these games. Greg Cunningham and Andy Boyle are out due to club commitments while Robbie Brady has been ruled out with a thigh strain, Callum O'Connor is recovering from a collar bone injury and Gearoid Morrisey is also out due to injury."
Ireland Under 19 squad v Poland:
Ian McLoughlin - Ipswich Town
Ger Hanley - Mervue United
Johnny Dunleavy - Wolves
Richie Towell - Celtic
Shane McEleney - Derry City
Cian Bolger - Leicester City
Rob Kiernan - Kilmarnock
Gavin Gunning - Rotherham United
Shaun Timmins - Birmingham City
Aaron Doran - Blackburn Rovers
Jimmy Keohane - Wexford Youths
Thomas McBride - Derry City
Sean Kinsella - Plymouth Argyle
Conor Hourihane - Sunderland
Conor Henderson - Arsenal
Jamil Adam - Barnsley
Ronan Murray - Ipswich Town
Charlie Collins - MK Dons
Paddy McEleney - Derry City