The Ireland minifootball training squad played 2 friendlies on Friday March 14th in Dublin Indoor Football Centre in Santry.
With four remaining players from the MiniEURO Championships squad to add to the 12 new training squad members, players arrived eager to impress.
First game kicked off at 8.30 with south Dublin side MMP providing the opposition. Ireland started tentatively with many players still getting to know each other’s playing styles and finding the rhythm of the expected style that they had been working on. This coupled with a very organised MMP team who started solidly, made it a very tight opening. MMP struck first with a superb goal from Bob Moore in the 3rd minute. Ireland soon hit back for two quick goals. First Aidan O Keeffe in the 6th minute and then Robbie Griffin in the 13th minute. From there Ireland put MMP under sustained pressure for most of the game, without ever killing the game off. It took an own goal from Declan Delahunty in the 34th minute to make the final scoreline 3-1 to Ireland.
The second game started with great intensity from both sides, with Havas, another south Dublin team providing the opposition. Havas proved to be organised and provided sharp attacking play causing Ireland a lot of problems. Nevertheless, Havas could not capitalise on their superiority and Aidan O Keeffe grabbed the lead for Ireland in the 9th minute.The game was played at a frenetic speed from there until half time with numerous half chances at both ends. The Ireland training squad returned from their dressing room for the second half after receiving a short and clear message. The response was a much improved performance that eventually wore Havas down. David Fallon started the scoring in the 36th minute before two more late goals from Robbie Griffin in the 39th minute and Aidan O Keeffe in injury time sealing the 4-0 win for Ireland.
Manager Mark O’ Sullivan commented: “Both games were very useful in the development of the training squad, giving me the chance to assess the players outside of a training environment. It is always nice to get the wins, however the development of the squad and what we learned tonight was more crucial. Both MMP and Havas deserve a big thank you for providing us with competitive matches.”
The Ireland training squad return to training on March 21st with three more new players to be added to the training squad.
Training Squad Players
James Hussey, Mark Cooney, Craig Plunkett, James McCrudden, Dara Clifford, Stephen Mullarkey, Rob Lucy, David Fallon, Robbie Griffin, Donal Patterson, Aidan O Keeffe, Michael Caffrey, Conor Buckley.
Manager: Mark O’ Sullivan. Head Coach: Robbie Mulligan. Physio: Donie Fox
Operations Manager: Chris Daly
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Mark O Connell