Posts Tagged ‘ Conor Clifford ’

Irish Aim For Italian Scalp

REPUBLIC of Ireland under-21 team manager Noel King believes his side have the character to cause a surprise when they host leaders Italy in Monday’s UEFA U21 Championships qualifying Group Seven fixture at the Showgrounds, Sligo (3.00pm). 

Coached by former Juventus star Ciro Ferrara, the Italians have won all five of their fixtures in the qualifying group but face an Irish side that has won three successive games at the west of Ireland venue. 

“Italy have won this competition five times before and having studied them closely I would say they are as good as any team I’ve seen at this age group,” said King. 

“They will rightly believe that they have a chance of winning this competition outright in Israel next summer and have very talented attacking players but we need to keep that out of our minds and focus on the job at hand. 

“If we do everything in our power to win this game then I believe we can get another victory in Sligo, where we’ve developed an excellent relationship with the local football community.”

Italy’s striking options include AC Milan’s Stephan El Shaarawy, Manolo Gabbiadini of Atalanta, Siena’s Mattia Destro and Chievo’s Alberto Paloschi. 

With Hungary beating second-placed Turkey on Friday, the Irish could leapfrog the Turks if they secure the three points tomorrow. 

“That result could be good for us but that will only be the case if we take advantage of it,” said King. 

“Everybody is fit and we’ve been together since before the Denmark friendly last week so we’ve prepared well and with the support of a packed Showgrounds I believe we are ready to produce a good performance.” 

Republic of Ireland U21 squad: Ian McLoughlin (MK Dons), Aaron McCarey (Wolves), Mark Connolly (Unattached), Shane Duffy (Everton), Greg Cunningham (Manchester City), Niall Canavan (Scunthorpe United), John Egan (Sunderland), Kevin Long (Burnley), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County), Eunan O’Kane (Torquay United), Richie Towell (Unattached), Aidan White (Leeds United), Conor Clifford (Chelsea), Conor Hourihane (Plymouth Argyle), Sean Murray (Watford), Samir Carruthers (Aston Villa), Ronan Murray (Ipswich Town), James Collins (Shrewsbury Town), Rhys Murphy (Unattached), Robbie Brady (Manchester United).

Doyle,Long and Coleman Win Awards

Kevin Doyle claimed the honours tonight at the 3 FAI International football awards in RTE.

The Wolves hitman, who 24 hours earlier scored the winning goal as his side beat Manchester United, was on hand to pick up the gong for senior international player of the year and international goal of the year.

Elsewhere their were awards for Shane Long and Seamus Coleman, with the duo likely to feature in Tuesday`s opening Carling Cup nations tie with Wales.

3/FAI International Player of the Year Award winners:

Senior International Player of the Year
Kevin Doyle (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

3 International Goal of the Year
Kevin Doyle (v Andorra)

Young International Player of the Year
Shane Long (Reading)

Under-21 International Player of the Year
Seamus Coleman (Everton)

Airtricity League Player of the Year
Gary Twigg (Shamrock Rovers)

Hall of Fame
Frank Stapleton

International Personality
Ian Rush

Special Merit Award
Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-17 team

Under-19 International Player of the Year
Conor Clifford (Chelsea)

Under-17 International Player of the Year
Sean McGinty (Manchester United)

Under-16 International Player of the Year
Mikey Drennan (Aston Villa)

Senior Women’s International Player of the Year
Fiona O’Sullivan (AIK Stockholm)

Under-19 Women’s International Player of the Year
Becky Walsh (Salthill Devon)

Junior International Player of the Year
Ross Carrig (Killester Utd)

Intermediate Player of the Year
Seamie Crowe (Athenry)

Football for All International Player of the Year
Richard Dougherty (Irish Deaf Men’s Squad)

FAI School’s International Player of the Year
Robert Benson (Marist College, Athlone)