WELL Friday night was a really bad day at the office as the clinical Germans showed just why they are ranked second in the World.
Although Ireland were severely depleted I expected a much more spirited performance that we got on the night. We started well and looked comfortable for the first half hour – although lucky not to be a man down and a goal down when John O'Shea fouled Reus, but once the Germans kicked into gear we were chasing shadows. It was a night to forget in every sense of the word and we will really have to up our game to be in with a shout for second place in the group.
It was good to see Seamus Coleman start on Friday night although it was a really difficult night for him as the Germans raided down the flanks throughout.
While Westwood may have done better with Klose's goal he could not really be faulted for the others but it is difficult for him to be match-ready when sitting on the bench with Sunderland. It's been a really difficult few months for the senior team and we have now lost four of our last five competitive games worryingly conceding fifteen goals.
One of our strengths has always been our ability to work hard as a team, keep it tight and concede very little – this is not present in our game at the moment, but football being football – there is always another game around the corner. The manager has his work cut out to get us back on track in the coming months.
U19s qualify FOLLOWING on from the success of the Under 17 Mens and Womens squads our Under 19 Mens squad under Head Coach Paul Doolin won their opening two matches of their mini-qualifying group to secure a spot in the Elite Qualifying Group Stages of the UEFA Championships. They beat Luxembourg 5-0 and followed this up with a 1-0 win against Macedonia. Their final group game against Germany was to be played yesterday (Tuesday) but both teams have already secured their spot in the Elite Phase. This coming week the Under 19 Womens team will try and make it a full house when they play in their mini-qualifying group. Football Against Racism THE Kerry Schoolboys/ girls League will host FARE Week/s in Kerry from October 16 to 3. All matches that take place over this period will begin with the captains making a short speech against racism and both teams shaking hands before and after the game.
The matches are being hosted to mark Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) Week, which aims to eliminate racist and discriminatory behaviour from soccer in Europe, as well as promoting diversity through sport. The initiative runs from October 16 31. In Ireland, FARE Week is supported by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and its community partners (Show Racism the Red Card Ireland and Sport against Racism Ireland) as well as the Department of Justice and Equality. At a European level, the week is supported by UEFA.
Speaking in advance of the Kerry Schoolboys/girls League FARE week, League Chairman Martin Conway said:
"We need to get the message out that discrimination of any sort – whether based on religious background, nationality or skin colour – is simply not acceptable, on or off the pitch. Fans and footballers alike have a duty to promote this message. It's vital that we set strong examples and leadership for our children, and FARE Week is a great platform from which we can all unite against racism and celebrate diversity."