Scully leads PFAI squad on Oslo trials
Published 08/01/2013 | 05:00
PAT Scully will bring an 18-man squad to Oslo today for this year's renewal of the FIFPro Tournament for out-of-contract players.
The Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland (PFAI) group will take part in a four-team tournament on Thursday involving their counterparts from Sweden, Finland and Norway.
With League of Ireland clubs moving quicker than last year in terms of signing up players, the squad lacks some of the recognisable names that have travelled in previous years.
Nevertheless, there is a mixture of youth and experience that will be hoping to catch the eye of Scandinavian scouts – in addition to letting Irish managers know they are in good shape. The Swedish team will be managed by ex-Manchester United winger Jesper Blomqvist, while former Leeds man Eirik Bakke will oversee the Norwegian group.
However, the most in-demand out-of-contract Irish player will not be making the journey. Evan McMillan, who spent 2012 with Bohemians, is a target for new Limerick manager Stuart Taylor, who will be officially unveiled later this week.
The Scot, a former Drogheda United player who has been recruited from his role as first-team coach with Scottish side Hamilton, faces strong competition from Sligo Rovers, who want the centre-half to replace Jason McGuinness.
Taylor, who was given a strong reference by Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, will supplement his existing squad with a number of recruits from England and Scotland.
Sligo boss Ian Baraclough is also looking across the water, and may use his friendship with Southampton manager Nigel Adkins to bring in some reserve players from the Premier League club.
Meanwhile, AFC Wimbledon are on the trail of Dundalk striker Mark Griffin, whose planned move to Derry has stalled due to the Candystripes' reluctance to pay compensation.
Chesterfield are also keen on the front man, with English clubs confident they can secure the 21-year-old without having to pay any fee.
PFAI Squad: Craig Hyland, Charlie Treacy, Niall O'Reilly, Stephen Maher, Stephen Paisley, Mark Rossiter, Shane Tracy, Liam Burns, David O'Leary, Craig Walsh, Peter McMahon, Barry O'Mahony, Peter Higgins, Danny Joyce, Dean Marshall, Tadhg Purcell, Stephen O'Flynn, Mark Leech.