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Sunday 23 September 2018

FAI's Turkey date

Rep of Ireland’s Martin O’Neill
Rep of Ireland’s Martin O’Neill

Ireland will head for Turkey in March in the first proper away international friendly in almost five years.

While the cloud of that 5-1 defeat to Denmark in the World Cup play-off still hangs over the Irish side, Martin O'Neill and the FAI are trying to plan for the next campaign, which starts in September.

Ireland had already agreed a friendly against France in Paris on Monday May 28.

But now a game against Turkey in Antalya on Friday March 23 has also been confirmed. The Republic have played friendlies away from home but those games against the likes of Mexico, Portugal and Italy were played in neutral venues so the Turkey date is the first actual away friendly since a trip to Poznan under O'Neill in 2013.

The Irish squad will assemble in Dublin on March 18 and will then have a four-day training camp in Turkey before the friendly game. The draw for the new Nations League takes place in Switzerland in a month's time, with O'Neill due to attend that draw.

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