Brian Kerr’s Republic of Ireland underage teams
The double European Championship victory for the Irish U16 and U18 teams was completely unexpected, a fresh-faced bolt from the blue.
There were stars of the future, John O'Shea and Andy Reid on the U16s and Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne on the U18s, but the players who stick in the mind are those who never quite made it, Keith Foy and David McMahon (U16) and the outstanding Liam George and Ger Crossley (U18). Their failure to carve out professional careers shows just how hard it is to break the big time in football. Above all it was a triumph for Brian Kerr who the previous year had steered a Damien Duff-inspired U20 team in the World Cup.