A young Kilkenny man is on the Irish Under 15 soccer team who play an international tournament in Turkey next week.
Ciarán Brennan from the East End club in Bennettsbridge travels to Istanbul on Saturday to prepare for games against the Netherlands (Tuesday, February 2), Turkey (Thursday, February 4), and Austria (Saturday, February 6), all at the Emirhan Sports Complex.
The three games will allow head coach O’Brien to assess his players against “top level opposition” in a new environment having previously worked with the majority of them for two friendlies against Poland last November.
Speaking to FAI website, coach Colin O’Brien says “This is an opportunity for the players to play international football against three Grade One teams, so they will be strong matches and a good test for our players,”.
“We will have a few new players in the squad, so it will be a chance for us to assess them but also to introduce the entire squad to what is involved with playing international football, from the preparation to the travelling abroad and coping with the different styles of play.
“One of our aims is to expose the players to these conditions so that when they go on to the Under 17 squad or to make a career for themselves that they know what is expected.
“We have been working through this process since last September with the players doing well for their respective clubs and also with our Emerging Talent Programmes around the country. But these games will be another challenge and it’s one we’re looking forward to.”
The Ireland squad will link up in Dublin and spend two days using the excellent facilities at the FAI National Training Centre before their departure to Turkey.