Ireland boss Lee Kill can barely hide his excitement with miniEURO2014 less than three weeks away.
The championships kicks off in just under four weeks’ time and sees the boys in green take on Italy, Kazakhstan and last year’s beaten finalists, Croatia. The draw was tough, but Ireland manager Lee Kill admitted he couldn’t wait for the tournament to get under way: “At our last training session we discussed the draw and we are excited about the prospect of playing teams that are ranked above ourselves,” he said.
Even though it is challenging, Kill – from Kilkenny – thinks the team can give a good account of themselves, as he has been impressed with the depth he has to pick from, commenting: “During the last two training sessions I’ve been assessing what I feel is a very talented squad and it’s clear we have a number of players who can play in a variety of positions. This flexibility will be important due to the roll on, roll off substitutions in the tournament.”
Kill admits these training sessions are vital in terms of getting together team cohesion. “We’ve been working hard on a pattern of play and our recent friendly match was very helpful in getting some important messages across,”
The manager’s message is starting to get through, as he explained. “The team have been really responsive with a couple of natural leaders emerging which is good to see, as is the excellent team spirit.” he added.
Last time, on their first miniEURO appearance, Ireland performed well but were beaten in the group matches, this time around - with a new manager and new players on board – the boss is hopeful things will be different in Montenegro, striking a bullish note to finish: “We know we’re going to be tested when the tournament starts but I’ve every confidence that this group of players will work hard for each other and prove difficult to beat.”