Wednesday 7 December 2016

Ireland to play Northern Ireland in behind-closed-doors training match at the Aviva

Published 27/04/2015 | 16:15

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has welcomed the behind-closed-doors training match with Northern Ireland in June.
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has welcomed the behind-closed-doors training match with Northern Ireland in June.

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill says e closed training match with Northern Ireland in June will be the ideal preparation for the crunch European qualifiers with Scotland.

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The FAI today announced that Ireland will play a closed doors training match against Northern Ireland at Aviva Stadium on Thursday June 4.

The game is intended by both managers as a training exercise prior to important European qualifiers in Group D against Scotland, and in Group F against Romania.

For the Republic of Ireland it will come three days before the Three International friendly against England at Aviva Stadium on June 7, and the EURO 2016 qualifier against Scotland, also at Aviva Stadium on June 13.

 “With the season ending early for a lot of our players, we see this as a mutually beneficial exercise for both sides," manager Martin O'Neill said. "Holding the match behind closed doors will give us the flexibility to make any changes we see fit ahead of the European qualifiers on June 13."

"The championship season ends on May 2, and if players are not involved in play-offs, that could be over a month without any games.  It represents an ideal opportunity to build the intensity of our preparations, leading into the England friendly, and before the important qualifier against Scotland.”

“It was important for us to get a quality game before the EURO 2016 qualifier against Romania at home on June 13 and this game provides the perfect scenario on the back of the Qatar friendly," Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill added.

“Having the game behind closed doors will allow both myself and Martin flexibility, which we wouldn’t have under normal international circumstances, and it will also help greatly in terms of our preparations for the important qualifier against Romania the following weekend.”

The two countries last met at the same ground in the 2011 Carling Nations Cup, with the Republic running out emphatic 5-0 victors in front of 15,083 fans.

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