Doolin braced for stern test from hosts Luxembourg
Ireland'S U-19s are anticipating a testing start to their UEFA Championship qualifying campaign when they meet hosts Luxembourg in Hesperange today (6.0).
"We are looking for a solid start and ideally in these situations you go and get a good result in your first game. Three points would set us up for the rest of the competition," said manager Paul Doolin, whose charges also face FYR Macedonia and Germany, with the top two to qualify for the elite phase of the qualifiers.
"I watched Luxembourg recently against Romania and they looked very well organised. They are a decent side and they train together four nights a week. You can see that in how they play.
"They are the hosts, too, and that will give them plenty of motivation to get a good start themselves."
Doolin and his staff have looked to get their message across to the Irish players this week, warning them they they will not have anything easy against Luxembourg.
"Ireland lost to Luxembourg in an U-17 game not that long ago, so when you take that into consideration there's no way we'll be taking them lightly," he said.
Doolin's squad has suffered another injury blow with the loss of Cork City's Brian Lenihan due to a back injury. SD Galway defender Colm Horgan has been called up in his place.
Meanwhile, former Arsenal, Fulham and West Ham winger Luis Boa Morte has signed for League Two club Chesterfield.
The 35-year-old, who played 28 times for Portugal, has agreed to join the Spireites, initially until January.