Sport Soccer

Thursday 19 April 2018

Smith 'too tired' for elite qualifiers in Portugal

John Fallon

CONNOR SMITH has informed Ireland U-19 manager Paul Doolin that he is "too tired" to play in the UEFA Championship elite qualifiers in Portugal later this month.

Mullingar native Smith, who is on Watford's books, was one of seven players from last season's squad which reached the U-19 European Championship finals to be included again.

However, Doolin confirmed: "Connor says he's not feeling great and wouldn't be able to go. He's been on loan (at Ryman League club Wealdstone), playing twice per week, and seems to feel very tired.

"Of course it's disappointing, but it's probably for the best that he doesn't go. With only 16 outfield players in the squad, we can't carry anyone who isn't 100pc up for it."

Doolin has included a number of youngsters who have made an impact in England this season, including Anthony Forde (Wolves) and Samir Carruthers (Aston Villa), who have both played in the Premier League.

French-based goalkeeper Niall Burdon of Stade Rennais has been drafted in to replace the injured Alan Smith of Rangers, while Bohemians defender Michael Barker is the only home-based player to make the cut.

IRELAND U-19 SQUAD -- S McDermott (Arsenal), N Burdon (Stade Rennais), M Barker (Bohemians), C Morrissey (Trieste, Italy), N Byrne (Rochdale), T Hoban (Watford), S Kavanagh (Fulham), B Garmston (West Brom), S Carruthers (Aston Villa), J O'Sullivan (Blackburn Rvs), S Murray (Watford), F Sutherland (QPR), D Williams (Aston Villa), M Drennan (Aston Villa), A Forde (Wolves), A O'Brien (Millwall), G Smith (Southend). *One more player to be added.

FIXTURES -- May 26: v Portugal (Olhao, Faro). May 28: v Ukraine (Parchal). May 31: v Israel (Ferreira).

Irish Independent

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