Monday 19 August 2019

'He's picking the best players and if eight of them happen to play in the league then so be it'

Jim Crawford
Jim Crawford

Jamie Holland

FAI coaches Jim Crawford and Tom Mohan don't view League of Ireland call-ups to Irish underage squads as a big deal any more. Instead, it's just the norm.

All but one of a recent round of Premier Division fixtures were called off because players from the league were engaged in international duty.

Mohan brought a number of Airtricity League performers to Russia where his team stormed through the final phase of U19 Elite Qualifying to book a place in July's European Championships in Armenia.

Crawford has been promoted from U18 boss to join Stephen Kenny's U21 backroom team and their squad for the win over Luxembourg last month had a healthy representation of players based in Ireland.

Mohan and Crawford were guests on the new LOI Weekly Podcast and they both expect the volume of local representation to remain consistent over the coming years.

And they stressed that every single call-up is there on merit.

"As Stephen says, he's not picking League of Ireland players. He's picking the best players and if eight of them happen to play in the league then so be it," said Crawford.

Mohan believes that the increased quality of coaching in the national underage leagues is a driving force and he thinks the opportunity is there to invest further in this area.

"We've now got an opportunity to develop our own players in our own country," said the highly rated coach.

"We've got very good coaches here. I feel we're going to have a very strong league with really good players and a good product. It's starting to bear fruit already."

This week's show also featured a tribute to the much-loved RTE broadcaster Pat McAuliffe who passed away earlier this week.

Online Editors

The Throw-In All-Ireland Hurling Final preview: Can Tipp's firepower edge clash with the Cats?

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport