Wednesday 24 April 2019

Daniel McDonnell: 'Five-star showing from Irish U-19's'

Euro 2020 Diary

Jonathan Afolabi. Photo: Sportsfile
Jonathan Afolabi. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Stephen Kenny's decision to promote a number of promising teens into his U-21 squad posed a few problems for U-19 boss Tom Mohan ahead of their elite phase European Championships qualifiers in Russia.

As top seeds, this is Ireland's best opportunity to qualify for the tournament since 2011.

And they made a stunning start yesterday by registering a 5-0 win over Romania that puts them in an excellent position in their four-team round-robin group - Russia and Azerbaijan drew 0-0.

A brace from Southampton duo Will Smallbone and Jonathan Afolabi and an own goal gave Ireland the win. Next up is Azerbaijan on Saturday.

Netflix small talk part of McCarthy introduction

Ever wonder what the Irish squad talk about in their down-time?

Matt Doherty offered the information yesterday as he explained how Mick McCarthy mingles easily with the players and makes them feel relaxed.

Netflix documentaries offer common ground between generations.

"We were signing shirts there yesterday and we were all talking about the Madeleine McCann (documentary) on Netflix that we've all been watching and he's obviously given his little point on it as well... what he thinks," said Doherty.

The Wolves player stopped short of elaborating on the manager's view.

10

Irish goals for James McClean - the highest-scoring international available to McCarthy this week.

Rovers squad joy after Byrne call

Shamrock Rovers will have to cope without Jack Byrne for tomorrow's trip to Finn Harps, but the group have been given a lift by the winter recruit's call.

Midfielder Greg Bolger suggested that it might be quieter without the 'bubbly' 22-year-old who 'demands standards' from team-mates.

"Even to myself, he's saying 'Greg, get me that ball'," says the 30-year-old.

Bolger discussed Byrne's promotion on the new LOI Weekly Podcast along with ex-St Pat's boss John McDonnell who drew parallels from working with the precocious Keith Fahey when he came back from England.

You can listen to the pod on independent.ie/podcasts

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