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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Doolin eyes solid start to Euro bid

Ireland U19s

Paul Doolin
Paul Doolin

The Republic of Ireland U19 side will look to get off to a winning start in their UEFA U19 Championships qualifying round campaign when they meet Slovenia in Galway today (KO 4.00pm).

Paul Doolin's side know that a solid start in Group 1 could have a massive impact on whether they progress to the Elite Phase. The top two sides from each progress alongside the third-placed team with the best record against the top pair in their group.

Ireland lost Burnley striker Khius Metz to an ankle injury this week so Dundalk's Michael O'Connor has been added to the squad.

"It's going to be a tough game for us. Slovenia are a decent team. They've had 11 friendlies and look like they've been together longer than us. They have strong players and pace out wide," said Doolin.

"For us we've got to try and do our thing right. Training has been very good, the players have taken on board what we've asked of them so we'll be going into it in the right frame of mind. We'll have to adapt to the conditions whatever happens. We're hoping to start well. You've two teams coming out of the group but the first game is vital. We've qualified for five campaigns in a row so it would be good to continue that run.

"We are a good team. Friendlies are one thing but the competitive games are where the serious stuff starts and we'll be looking to begin with a good performance and result."

Meanwhile, the other group game - Scotland v Latvia - which takes place tomorrow afternoon has been switched to Markets Field, Limerick (2.30pm).

Fixtures

Friday November 13: Scotland v Latvia, Markets Field, Limerick (2.30pm); Ireland v Slovenia, Eamon Deacy Park, Galway (4.00pm)

Sunday November 15: Slovenia v Scotland, Markets Field, Limerick (2.30pm); Ireland v Latvia, Eamon Deacy Park, Galway (7.30pm)

Wednesday November 18: Scotland v Ireland, Markets Field, Limerick (3.30pm); Latvia v Slovenia, Eamon Deacy Park, Galway (3.30pm).

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