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Wednesday 15 August 2018

Connell looking forward to more progress with Irish Under-17's

IT'S A TOUGH task for any manager to have two games in two days, let alone when it's an International double-header bringing together a squad of 24 players, most of whom don't play together week in and week out.

Add some tough opposition into the mix, and there's no doubting that anything you've gotten from the two games it well and truly deserved.

For Ireland's Women Under-17's boss, Dave Connell, the week has been a huge success. Players have been seen, positives noted, lessons learnt and a victory has been had.

Speaking with me last week after Tuesday's 1-0 win against Denmark, Dave added, "We did a lot of work with the girls, gave them a lot of information, so fair play to them, they've done well."

"Listen, it wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination but what they showed was a real desire to win the game (Tuesday's 1-0 victory)."

And that desire and passion to win a match will certainly be passed down from Connell, as when a player himself, they were characteristics you never had to worry about been ticked on his match-day card.

And I think everyone around the Under 17's squad knows that the more time they spend together, the better they will obviously get.

The boss added, "there were girls on Tuesday playing their first game for Ireland so fair play to them. We do realise that if we get a bit more time with these girls we can do a bit of damage to others teams."

"We were looking at the girls before the game on Tuesday and they were really nervous and that's understandable, as I said there was a lot of young kids playing for their country for the first time. But it was brilliant for them".

Looking to the future, Dave is very positive about moving forward.

"We have a strong squad, we brought 24 in and it was a case of having a look at a couple and trying to give everyone an equal opportunity over Tuesday and Thursday".

Obviously Thursday's result was a disappointing one but in general ladies football is in a good place and from my own experience covering the Metro Girls League, the future should land the game in an even better place, and Dave is delighted with the work that is being done in the MGL and all around the country.

"I have a great relationship with the MGL, Ben O'Looney is doing great work with his staff down there. We appreciate all the efforts the league's do and the MGL in particular because such a big chunk of our squad is there. It's probably the best thing that has happened in Dublin football."

GER BRADY

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