Posts Tagged ‘ Noel King ’

King’s Under 21’s Seek To Make History After Euro Draw


REPUBLIC of Ireland U21 Head Coach  Noel King today gave his reaction to the UEFA U21 Championships 2017 Qualifying Round draw which has grouped his side with Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Andorra.

Group Two top seeds Italy have won this competition more often than any other nation – five times – while second seeds Serbia were champions once previously and won the UEFA U19 Championships in 2013 with the squad who will compete in this qualifying round. Continue reading

Disappointment For Ireland U21s In Norway


THE Republic of Ireland U21 side suffered a disappointing 4-1 loss to Norway in a friendly international in Drammen tonight.

Norway scored twice either side of half-time to seal the victory with Alan Browne replying from the penalty spot for the Irish in the 76th minute.

Both sides had come close before the Norwegians broke the deadlock in the 27th minute. Less than a minute earlier Jack Byrne had a decent effort from outside the box that curled narrowly over.

Norway’s opener came after a break down the left and the ball came to Mohamed Elyounoussi, who cut inside before he firing the ball into the far corner.

The second goal came in the 33rd minute with Bard Finne sending the ball in from the left, Irish keeper Ian Lawlor made a brave block but the rebound fell to Veton Berisha and he turned it home.

Norway changed almost their entire side at the break and the fresh legs told. They made it 3-0 on 53 minutes through a close range finish from Petter Strand.

Three minutes later it was 4-0 with Kristoffer Normann Hansen scoring from the edge of the box.

Preston North End midfielder Browne gave the Irish some sort of consolation when he converted from the spot but overall it was a disappointing night defensively for the Irish.

King said: “We’re here to learn and we certainly did that. The purpose of games like this is to try out things, experiment and look at players. We’ve certainly plenty of room for improvement.

“We gave six people new caps at this level. I know we can do better. It’s obviously disappointing to lose but the positive was that we worked hard right to the end and there were some good individual performances.

“We didn’t adapt to the artificial surface as well as Norway did but that was worth experiencing too as more and more countries are using that type of surface.”

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Ian Lawlor (Danny Rogers 60), Shane Griffin (Dylan Connolly 60), Jack Connors (Kenny McEvoy 46) , Tommy Hoban, Darragh Lenihan (Mason Watkins-Clark 46), Kieron Sadlier (Alan Browne 46), Pierce Sweeney (Sean Kavanagh 46), Sam Byrne (Philip Roberts 60), Jack Byrne, Sean Long, Eoghan O’Connell.

Continue reading

King’s U21s Ready For Norwegian Challenge


REPUBLIC of Ireland U21 head coach Noel King is looking for his young side to build on their recent impressive performances when they meet Norway in a friendly in Drammen tomorrow (6.00pm Irish).

King’s side drew with Qatar’s Olympic side in May then produced a disciplined display against Germany last month.

With a view towards next year’s qualifying campaign, the Irish boss is getting to know this new crop of U21 players and believes this fixture will be very beneficial in that process.

“We had a long day travelling to Norway and naturally everybody was tired after that but we trained last night to loosen ourselves out and now everybody is fresher and ready for the game,” said King. Continue reading

Irish Under 21’s Seek Big Win In Montenegro


The Republic of Ireland U21 side face a tough test in UEFA U21 Championships Qualifying Round Group Six tomorrow when they meet Montenegro in Podgorica (4pm Irish time).

Noel King’s side drew level with the Montenegrins in second place in the group on Friday  when the Irish beat the Faroe Islands 5-2 in Sligo while Montenegro drew 1-1 with Germany.

The Irish head coach knows that a victory in this fixture could have a massive influence on Ireland’s chances of sealing second place and potentially a play-off spot for a place in the finals.  Continue reading

What We Learned This Past Week


It’s been quite a mad week in sport, as per usual. I take a look at some of the lighter moments, the dark moments and the down right crazy moments.

It’s a bad week for:

It’s a bad week for a foreign newspaper called ‘Critica’ as they gave us the best headline thus far;

The headline was created on Friday evening after Panama lost in epic fashion, 2-1 to Mexico in a crucial World Cup qualifier. Raul Jiminez’s late bicycle kick, or Chilena in Latin, essentially kept Mexico’s hopes alive while ending Panama’s in the process. Continue reading

Quartet Return To First Post Trapattoni Ireland Squad


Noel King today announced a provisional 26 man squad for Ireland’s upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Germany on October 11 in Cologne, and Kazakhstan on October 15 in Aviva Stadium.

The squad will be shortened ahead of the fixtures in order to facilitate injuries with both Robbie Brady and Jon Walters struggling with injury. Continue reading

King Forced To Replace Duo For German Clash


REPUBLIC of Ireland U21 Head Coach Noel King has been forced to make two changes to his squad for Monday’s UEFA U21 Championships qualifying round clash with Germany in Sligo.

QPR’s Frankie Sutherland and Bristol City defender Derrick Williams both suffered injuries on club duty in midweek and King has drafted in Derry City’s Barry McNamee and Aston Villa’s Graham Burke.

“It’s unfortunate to lose Frankie and Derrick but Barry and Graham have been in with us before and are very good players whose versatility is important,” said King.  Continue reading

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).

Young Irish Abroad #3 Jeff Hendrick

Jeff Hendrick’s start as a Rams player will leave him in the hearts of Derby County fans forever. The young Dubliner scored a 72nd minute winner against bitter rivals Nottingham Forest in September, when the Derby team only had ten men.

Hendrick, who will turn 20 in the New Year, has made 22 senior appearances for Derby, scoring twice. Although he is still relatively inexperienced, he would have gained some experience in the recent under-19 championships during the summer, where the Irish team were knocked out by eventual champions Spain.

The Rams youngster is a busy midfielder, with an eye for a pass and a strength of positioning, which would be invaluable in Giovanni Trapattoni`s` team. His performance and goal in a local derby against Forest with just ten men was testament to his ability to play under pressure, which again against a big side would be a plus.

He began his Derby career as a youth and signed professional terms in the summer of 2010, after making an appearance in the final league game of that season against Cardiff.  His performances to date have seen him attract interest from the Premiership in the shape of Aston Villa and West Brom, both who possess current Irish talents, Richard Dunne, Shay Given and Shane Long.

Another positive feature to his game is the way he has turned in impressive performances against other quality central midfielders. In the Forest derby, he came toe-to-toe with former Irish international and Andy Reid, as well as Champions League winner Jonathan Greening. He has also faced off with Kevin Nolan, Papa Bouba Diop and Julio Arca, all proven Premier League players. What’s more is that Hendrick has kept Paul Green, a player TrapaTtoni favoured in his early days, out of the Derby team.

Hendrick has represented Ireland at all levels bar senior, and was shortlisted for under-17 player of the year in 2010. He scored the only goal in a one nil win against Poland under 19s in 2010 to secure qualification for the under 19 championships, where he played in all the games. After that tournament he was called into Noel King’s under-21 team, and has made three appearances to date.

Hendrick is definitely a talent to be reckoned with, maybe not for the EURO 2012 campaign but most definitely for the World Cup Qualifiers, along with Robbie Brady and Barry Maguire, the previous two young stars.