PAUL DOOLIN is delighted that his Ireland U23 squad of home-based players will get a chance to test themselves against the senior international team later this month.
Doolin yesterday named his squad for the first game of his reign as U23 boss, a match at home to England's 'C' team in Waterford on May 26. The U23 squad, made up of League of Ireland based players, will take on Giovanni Trapattoni's senior squad in a behind-closed-doors game at the senior team's training base in Malahide on May 18 and Doolin is excited at the prospect of facing up to Trapattoni.
"This fixture is a major plus for me, whether it's behind closed doors or not. It gives me a chance to bring my squad together a week before we meet England," said Doolin , who hopes that he has no issues with club managers over the release of players.
"I'm not sure how the club managers feel about it But if I had players who were going to play the senior international squad it wouldn't bother me. It's a good game, a good exercise. You will always learn something, whether you're a player or coach. Hopefully the other managers see it from that point of view.
"I'm hoping to learn something from both games this month. You are never done learning and I'm still young in coaching terms. I want to pass on knowledge to young players and hopefully they can learn something.
"There is a lot of talent in the squad and somebody will probably question why I've picked some and left others out - but you can only pick 20. I picked these players because of the systems and formations they can potentially play.
"It's an exciting squad with a lot of attacking players. I have an idea on how we want to play but with international management there is always a lack of time to get your message across," added Doolin, who has picked a squad with a wide geographical base.
There are players from Galway United (3), Dundalk (2) and Sligo Rovers (2), while the First Division is also represented as Cork City FORAS Co-up defender Stephen Mulcahy is included.
England boss Paul Fairclough has named his squad for the Waterford clash with Ireland and his panel is made up of players from the Conference. Included is York City keeper Josh Mimms, who had a spell at Bohemians under Sean Connor.
Ireland U23 squad: Darren Quigley (Sporting F), Robert Duggan (Shamrock R), Seamus Conneely (Galway U), Garry Breen (Dundalk), Stephen
Mulcahy (Cork), Kenny Browne (Sporting F), Conor Powell (Bohemians), Ian Bermingham (St Pats), Ronan Finn (Sporting F), Greg Bolger (UCD), James Chambers (Shamrock R), Stephen O'Donnell (Galway U), Billy Dennehy (Shamrock R), Ross Gaynor (Dundalk), Gary McCabe (Sligo R), Shaun Williams (Sporting F), Paul Byrne (St Pats), Karl Sheppard (Galway U), Padraig Amond (Sligo R), Paddy Madden (Bohemians).