Mohan targets strong start to U-17 qualifiers
With second place in their group likely to be enough to qualify again for the UEFA Championship U-17 finals, avoiding defeat against Serbia in their opener next Monday will be crucial to Ireland's prospects.
Head coach Tom Mohan yesterday named his squad for the three-match series which also includes fixtures against mini-group hosts Poland and Montenegro.
Manchester City duo Aaron O'Driscoll and Tyreke Wilson are included, along with another Dubliner, U-16 striker Glen McAuley, now with Liverpool.
The availability of West Ham United attacker Anthony Scully should also be vital, as his absence through injury for last year's finals was apparent when Ireland failed to score in their three games.
"Montenegro are a very well-organised side too and came out of a tough group to get here," explained Mohan.
"We know Poland's quality from playing them last season and we seem to get Serbia almost every year. By winning the U-20 World Cup last year, they proved how good they are at producing players."
In the elite round, the eight group winners and seven runners-up with the best record against the teams that finish first and third in their section advance to the finals to join hosts Azerbaijan at the showpiece in May.