Wednesday 28 January 2015

Dates set to be confirmed for summer tour

Garry Doyle

Published 15/03/2014 | 02:30

4 March 2014; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, left, and assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their International Friendly against Serbia on Wednesday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane will take the Republic of Ireland squad on a two-game summer tour of the United States after fixtures against Turkey and Italy

Ireland's summer schedule has still to be completed, although contracts are likely to be signed by Tuesday confirming that Martin O'Neill's team will travel to Boston for a June 7 date with Costa Rica before moving south to New York for a friendly against Portugal three days later.

Prior to then, Turkey – at the Aviva Stadium on May 25 – and Italy in Craven Cottage on May 31 will provide a stern examination of O'Neill's squad as their preparations for the forthcoming Euro 2016 campaign intensify.

While Toronto emerged yesterday as a possible venue for Ireland's international against Costa Rica, FAI sources last night confirmed that Boston is the more likely venue for that game.

As of yet, contracts with the Italian, Portuguese and Costa Rican Football Associations have not been completed, although talks are at an advanced stage.

Significantly, Martin O'Neill has given his blessing to the project, although the Irish manager was concerned about how these end of season games were eating into the players' off-season. However, his desire to test his players and try different systems against top-quality opposition persuaded him to approve the fixtures which are on the verge of being confirmed.

Irish Independent

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