Wednesday 20 November 2019

Mohan sets sights on qualification for U-17s

Tom Mohan’s young Boys in Green head into this afternoon’s concluding elite phase qualifier in Grodzisk Wielkopolski joint-top of their group with four points and ahead of Greece on goal difference.
Tom Mohan’s young Boys in Green head into this afternoon’s concluding elite phase qualifier in Grodzisk Wielkopolski joint-top of their group with four points and ahead of Greece on goal difference.

Only Polish pride today can deny Ireland their first passage into the U-17 European Championship finals since 2008.

Tom Mohan's young Boys in Green head into this afternoon's concluding elite phase qualifier in Grodzisk Wielkopolski (5.0, Irish time) joint-top of their group with four points and ahead of Greece on goal difference.

In a new departure from UEFA, second place in the pool will be good enough in all but one of the groups as part of doubling the number of finalists to 16.

To be sure of reaching the showpiece in Bulgaria this May, however, victory is required by the Irish against the locals who are out of contention having lost both of their fixtures so far.

Anything less will leave Ireland relying on one of various outcomes from the other game between Greece and Belarus being played simultaneously.

"Poland will be shocked at being out already as they were favourites here and had a great season," said Mohan. "They won the La Manga Cup and they have very good players.

"We won't be caught in the trap of taking them lightly. It's a total focus for us and taking nothing for granted."

Qualification would all the more impressive, given two of their key players - Steven Kinsella of Everton and West Ham's Anthony Scully - are absent from the Ireland squad through injury.

Both starlets are in line to return in time for the finals, if today's final obstacle can be negotiated, though England are battling for Scully's allegiance too.

Irish Independent

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