Republic of Ireland U19 Head Coach Tom Mohan has named his squad for their Elite Round qualifiers in Krasnodar, Russia, this week.
The Irish side, the top seeds in this Elite Round, will play Azerbaijan, Romania, and Russia between March 20th and 26th.
Mohan has given first call-ups to Sligo Rovers’ Niall Morahan, Mark McGuinness of Arsenal, Bolton Wanderers’ Luca Connell, Festy Ebosele of Derby County, and Aston Villa’s Tyriek Wright, but Stoke City defender Nathan Collins has been ruled out of the qualifiers through injury.
Lee O’Connor, Conor Coventry, Troy Parrott and Adam Idah have all been promoted to the Under-21 squad.
Speaking ahead of the qualifying games Tom Mohan spoke of the challenge facing his players:
“I expect all three games will be very tough against very strong opponents who have all performed really well to qualify from their respective groups. From our own perspective, we were delighted to have qualified for the Elite Round and we aim to build on the positives from our team’s performances in the Qualifying Round.”
The seven group winners in the Elite Round will qualify to join hosts Armenia in the finals, which will be played from July 14-27.
Though 2011 was the last time Ireland qualified for the Under-19 finals tournament – when they reached the semi-finals – they won the competition in 1998 overcoming Germany in a penalty shoot-out.
Republic of Ireland Under-19 Squad
Goalkeepers: Brian Maher (St Patrick’s Athletic), George McMahon (Burnley).
Defenders: Andy Lyons (Bohemians), Tom Gaston (Bordeaux), Mark McGuinness (Arsenal), Oisín McEntee (Newcastle United), Jack James (Luton Town), Kameron Ledwidge (Southampton).
Midfielders: Niall Morahan (Sligo Rovers), Aaron Bolger (Shamrock Rovers), Jason Knight (Derby County), Luca Connell (Bolton Wanderers), Will Smallbone (Southampton), Conor Grant (Sheffield Wednesday), Richie O’Farrell (UCD).
Forwards: Ali Reghba (Bohemians), Will Ferry (Southampton), Festy Ebosele (Derby County), Tyriek Wright (Aston Villa), Jonathan Afolabi (Southampton).
2019 UEFA European Under-19 Championship – Elite Round Qualifiers
March 20: Republic of Ireland v Romania, Kuban Stadium, Krasnodar, KO 12:00 (9:00 Irish Time)
March 23: Republic of Ireland v Azerbaijan, Kuban Stadium, Krasnodar, KO 12:00 (9:00 Irish Time)
March 26: Republic of Ireland v Russia, FC Krasnodar Academy Stadium, KO 17:00 (14:00 Irish Time)