Laois teenager Colin Conroy has been selected for the Republic of Ireland U-17 soccer team who will play in three European Qualifiers in Cork next week.
The St Kevin’s Boys/Bohemians midfielder has been chosen as part of a 20-man squad for the crunch games.
Manager Colin O’Brien has chosen his squad for for the qualifying round matches against Andorra (November 12), Montenegro (November 15) and Israel (November 18).
His squad includes a first Ireland international call-up for Dublin-born Crystal Palace defender Tayo Adaramola and Cork City midfielder Oran Crowe. In all, 14 players have been selected from SSE Airtricity League clubs.
Ireland will play three games at Turner’s Cross as they bid to advance to the Elite Round of the competition with the dream to qualify for the European Under-17 Championship in Estonia.
Head Coach Colin O’Brien said: “This is a good team and each of them are here on merit. We’ve been assessing players that have come through our underage teams as well as those playing in the National League.
“We had a double-header in September against a very strong Russia team and that really pleased me and in October we had a training camp and in all we’ve looked at around 40 players.
“Tayo [Adaramola] joined us for training and he did great and I’m pleased that he’ll be a part of the squad.”
O’Brien spoke about Ireland’s opponents as his team face three fixtures in seven days.
“He said: “What I know is that you can never under estimate the opposition. You can come up against a nation that has very strong group at underage level so you can’t take anything for granted.
“Andorra, Montenegro and Israel will have different footballing cultures and tournament football presents those challenges. You have to be ready to prepare for a different style in a tight time frame.”
This selection caps off a fine year for Portlaoise teenager Colin Conroy.
Back in January, he scored his first international goal in a friendly against Australia and he was subsequently nominated for the Republic of Ireland U-15 Player of the Year.
Conroy then played in three games for his country in the UEFA U-16 Development Competition while later in the year, he won club honours.
His St Kevin’s Boys/Bohemians team claimed the Mark Farren Cup in some style against the Kerry District League.
Tuesday, November 12: Ireland v Andorra, Turner’s Cross, Cork, KO 7.30pm
Friday, November 15: Ireland v Montenegro, Turner’s Cross, Cork, KO 7.30pm
Monday, November 18: Ireland v Israel, Turner’s Cross, Cork, KO 2pm