Colin O'Brien names four Cork City players in Ireland U17 squad

Three international games will take place at Turner's Cross with Liam Murray, Cathal Heffernan, Mark O’Mahony and Franco Umeh all set to feature
Colin O'Brien names four Cork City players in Ireland U17 squad

Ireland’s Cathal Heffernan at Turner's Cross. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

REPBULIC of Ireland U17 head coach Colin O’Brien has announced a 20-man squad ahead of three UEFA European Championship Qualifiers that begin in Cork next week.

Cork City quartet Liam Murray, Cathal Heffernan, Mark O’Mahony and Franco Umeh are all included as Ireland will take on Andorra on Thursday, October 7, followed by North Macedonia on Sunday, October 10, and Poland on Wednesday, October 13, in the first round of qualification.

Around 1,000 fans saw Ireland U17s beat a strong Mexico side 2-1 last month and former Cork City midfielder O’Brien is calling on Ireland fans to come out in numbers to support his exciting young team.

“The players were speaking after the win over Mexico about just how much the crowd encouraged them and got behind them and I think that shows just how vital the supporters can be during a game. 

They really felt that fan-to-player connection and having a crowd at Turner’s Cross was huge for us.

“These are three big games that set-up our season and I’m sure the Irish fans will be there to get behind this young and exciting Ireland team.” 

On his squad, O’Brien added: “Having the National League run through the summer gave us a great opportunity to look at a lot of the players and that has helped us in our selection process.

“There’s a very good dynamic within the team which I believe transfers onto the pitch. The players get on so well together and you see that on the pitch.

“I feel there are some really good players in this group with high potential and it is exciting to have them together for these upcoming games.” 

Goalkeepers: 

Fintan Doherty (Derry City), Conor Walsh (Sligo Rovers) 

Defenders: 

Luke Browne (Shelbourne), Sam Curtis (St Patrick’s Athletic), Cathal Heffernan (Cork City), Ruadhan Kane (Klub Kildare), Daniel Kelly (Sligo Rovers), Luke O’Brien (St Patrick’s Athletic) 

Midfielders: 

Justin Ferizaj (Shamrock Rovers), Gavin Hodgkin (Shelbourne), Darius Lipsivc (St Patrick’s Athletic), James McManus (Bohemians), Rocco Vata (Celtic) 

Forwards: 

Trent Kone Doherty (Derry City), Liam Murray (Cork City), Caden McLoughlin (Villareal), Alex Nolan (St Patrick’s Athletic), Mark O’Mahony (Cork City), Franco Umeh (Cork City), Kevin Zefi (Inter Milan)

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