Ireland under 17 national team take on Turkey tonight (Tuesday 7pm) in the first of two games in Eamonn Deacy Park. The other is at the same venue on Thursday at 1pm.
#IRLU17 primed for Turkish double header in Galway.
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) February 12, 2018
The double header will act as the final preparation for March’s UEFA European Under 17 Championship Elite Round.
Colin O’Brien’s side will travel to Poland for games against the hosts along with ties with Georgia and Macedonia. The top two sides will then qualify for May’s Finals which will take place in England.
Turkey come into the games off the back of Elite Round qualification while they also impressed in 2017, making the semi-finals of the European Championships and qualifying for last October’s FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.
Ireland Head Coach O’Brien, speaking on the official FAI website, feels the games this week will be the perfect preparation ahead of the crucial Elite Round.
“This is a big opportunity for the players. This is our last camp before the Elite Round next month and they are two important games for our development,” he said.
“Turkey are always formidable, they bring a high tempo game and will be a big test for us. The two games will be a challenge for everyone. There are places in the team up for grabs.”
Prior to the move to an Under 17 age bracket, the competition was known as the Under 16 European Championship. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Ireland’s famous win in that tournament, a squad that Liam Miller was a key member of.
Mourners gathered to pay their respects at the funeral of former Ireland midfielder Liam Miller pic.twitter.com/Bvw1UXVnwa
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) February 12, 2018
“The past week has put everything in perspective,” added O’Brien. “Liam Miller was an inspiration to many players, he won the Under 16 European Championship with Ireland, and if the current crop of players can go on to have half the career Liam did they will be doing very well.
“On behalf of the squad and management team I would like to pass on my very sincere condolences to Liam’s family and friends at this very sad time.”