Monday 23 April 2018

Hostile test awaits U-17s

John Fallon

IRELAND'S U-17s face the biggest character test of their young careers today when they meet a Kazakhstan side backed by 5,000 supporters at the Tsentralny Stadium in Almaty.

Wednesday's 8-0 pasting of Liechtenstein gives John Morling's side the chance to secure qualification from their UEFA first phase against a team that lost their opener to top seeds, the Czech Republic.

An expectant crowd will be baying for Ireland's scalp in this must-win clash for the home nation.

Morling has impressed upon his players the need to remain calm.

"Their team will be physically strong, well organised and play on the counter. For our lads, the motivation to win and qualify is there and they need to be focused on the game above anything else," he said.

IRELAND (probable) -- S Fagan (Coventry); C Whittle (De La Salle), K McFadden (Norwich), R O'Reilly (Stoke), S Coyne (Cherry Orchard); D Hayes (Derby), J Leddy (Ipswich), G O'Neill (Wolves); D McGlade (Middlesbrough), S Byrne (Manchester United), J Grealish (Aston Villa).

Irish Independent

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