Monday 24 October 2016

Smith rings changes to Irish regions squad

With a place in the UEFA Regions Cup final already sealed, Ireland Amateur boss Gerry Smith has the opportunity to shake up his starting eleven against Bosnian representatives Tuzla in Tallaght Stadium tomorrow night.

Victory over the Czech Republic coupled with Turkey's win over tomorrow night's opponents ensured that the Irish cannot be caught at the top of the group regardless of what happens in the final group games.

Now head coach Smith has the opportunity to hand fringe players a chance to play themselves into his plans for Saturday's final.

Smith has dismissed the notion that this game is dead rubber and insists that it is hugely important for those on the outskirts of the starting eleven.

Striker Greg Moorhouse is definitely out of Smith's plans for tomorrow's game after the Crumlin United man picked up his second yellow card of the tournament in the win over the Czechs.

The Irish have a further four players, David Lacey, Ken Hoey, Lar Dunne and top scorer Darren Dunne, on yellow cards and Smith is expected to avoid taking any risks.

Darren Dunne has been exceptional for Smith's side in the two games, chipping in with two goals and one assist, and the Irish boss is expected to rest the Sheriff YC midfielder after two tough games in three games.

LSL player of the year Thomas Dunne should get the nod to replace Moorhouse up top while Jon Rock will join Dunne in the attack as Lacey sits the game out.

David Meehan could come in to replace Brendan O'Connell in goal while Conor Riddick and Dean Gibbons will be aiming to start in the middle of the park.

The Irish will find out who they will play in the final tomorrow afternoon when Germany and Croatia clash in Whitehall. A draw will be enough for Croatia while the Germans need a win in order to make the final.

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