The Republic of Ireland Under-15 side ahead of their tie with the Czech Republic

ST JOSEPH’s Boys Max Murphy and Callum Thompson and Cabinteely’s Jason Knight were part of the Republic of Ireland Under-15 panel that produced an impressive 5-2 win over the Czech Republic in the first of two games.
And they manager Colin O’Brien was pleased with the quality of his side’s attacking display.
“It was great. I’m delighted for the players. From day one this season, they’ve created lots of opportunities in games and have competed in every game,” he said.
“No so-called superior nation that they’ve played this season has been over them. They came off the pitch each time realising that. They’ve threatened to score goals in every match and this time they finished off some good opportunities and I’m pleased for them.
“I feel that there are exciting players in this age group but I also believe that’s the case with the other age groups I’ve worked with.
“Maybe there is doom and gloom in some quarters but it’s just people’s opinions – we know how we’re educating the players and we feel that they’re getting their minds opened to how we want them to play.
“A lot of people won’t see the work that’s done off the pitch. They’ve been a credit to their clubs and the centre of excellence that they worked in.
“From team meetings, to acting in the hotel, their routine for the week with us. People don’t see that.
“They’re a smashing bunch of lads. I’ve seen some great players in recent years and they just need to be put into an environment where they can continue to develop. Hopefully these players can continue that process now with the U16s.”
The attacking play was a testament to the quality in this group with Adam Idah and Sean Brennan each scoring twice in Clonmel on Monday with Seanie Mahon adding the fifth.
O’Brien feels that over the course of the campaign this crop of young players has made great strides as a group.
“We’ve worked very hard all through the year with the four team functions – attack, defence and the transitions – and that’s what we look for when we play. They learn through practical work on the pitch, some visual stuff, they’ve been excellent with that all season.”
Elsewhere, Cabinteely’s Aaron Brilly was in the Irish Colleges and Universities squad who beat the Scottish Universities 3-0 in an international friendly played in constant heavy rain at Whitehall.