BY HARRY WALSH
A unique Irish representative team will head to England next week to play two games against the academy sides of Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford FC.
This Republic of Ireland Future Developers Squad is made up of players born in 1999 and 2000 who have been identified by the Emerging Talent Programme around the country but are considered players who will develop into underage internationals in the coming years.
Included in their number is Castlefin Celtic midfielder of Corey Lee Bogan and Jason McCallion from Quigley’s Point Swifts.
Head Coach James Scott explained how the process has developed in the past year. To be considered for inclusion in this category, a player’s BMI measurement should read 19.0 or less.
“We’ve been working on this for past 12 months, these are players that we feel have great potential but maybe quite tall and thin or quite small and light,” he explained.
“These are players who are technically very good with great speed of thought but maybe are a little behind other players there ages physically at the moment.
“We had two assessment. The players were identified from the regional ETP centres. We had three weeks work with them and we’re taking them to Brighton and Brentford next week for two good testing fixtures.
“For these players it will be an opportunity for them to see where they are in relation to the international squads. They’ll be excellent players in time and this will help their progression.”
Unusually the squad has been picked solely on the technical attributes of the players rather than their normal playing positions so Scott and assistant coach Paul Osam will look at the players in a variety of roles.
” There’s literally only one playing who is normally a defender and we have lots of midfielders and wingers but no regular centre-forward. It’s not like a normal squad,” Scott added.
“We’ve worked on them in different positions and working on attacking and defending. It’s a good opportunity for them to try different things and to see how they adapt.
“The players come from clubs all over the country and some of them are from clubs that wouldn’t normally have players progress to international level so it just goes to show that there are very good players all over Ireland.”
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND FUTURE DEVELOPERS SQUAD:
William Armshaw (St Michael’s Tipperary)
Dean Beresford (Tramore AFC)
Ryan Burke (St Joseph’s Boys)
Justin Croke (Ferrybank AFC)
Aodh Dervin (Longford Town)
Aaron Fitzgerald (Summerville)
Jack Ford (Carrigaline)
Sean Hughes (Drogheda Utd)
Jaze Kabia (Douglas Hall)
Cormac Kelly (St Joseph’s Boys)
Corey Lee Bogan (Castlefin Celtic, Donegal)
Brian Maher (St Kevin’s Boys)
Sean Martin (Carrick United, Waterford)
Cian McAllister (Westport Utd)
Promise Omochere (St Joseph’s Boys)
Lewis O’Neill (Cherry Orchard)
Eoin Wall (Freebooters)
Jason McCallion (QPS, Inishowen)
Tuesday, August 4
Brighton & Hove Albion v Republic of Ireland Future Developers Squad, Brighton Academy Grounds (5.00pm)
Thursday, August 6
Brentford FC v Republic of Ireland Future Developers Squad, Hayes & Yeading FC (2.00pm)
Castlefin have already accounted for fellow Donegal outfits Drumkeen United and Convoy Arsenal in the FAI Junior Cup.