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Wednesday 19 December 2018

Future's bright after watching our U16s

NEW ROLE: Ireland U16s coach Richard Dunne shakes hands with Orrin McLaughlin of Northern Ireland U16s. PIc: Sportsfile
NEW ROLE: Ireland U16s coach Richard Dunne shakes hands with Orrin McLaughlin of Northern Ireland U16s. PIc: Sportsfile

There is so much doom and gloom about what's coming down the tracks for Irish football but a week spent with the Ireland U16s has given me a lift and a new way of seeing things.

We have so much talent in the underage teams, it's just a case of hoping they can progress as that's the hard part.

I made my coaching debut with the U16s last week and I really enjoyed it, working with people like Paul Osam, Mark Connors and Dermot O'Neill.

It was nice to be part of something and see international football from another side, not being focused on your own game as a player does.

We got beaten by Northern Ireland on the Monday, and the North were very good, but in the next two games we beat Wales 4-0 and drew 0-0 with Scotland.

I don't know how we didn't beat Scotland, we had hit the post three times, missed a penalty, had 15 corners, had everything but the win.

But it was all down to a game plan that the manager has put together the night before, they have a general principle but then adapt that to cope with the opponents for each game, make players aware of what's expected of them. Scotland had looked very good in their previous two games but we completely dominated them.

I will do some of the coaching to assist the coaches they already have, I got to speak to the players and pass on any advice I can, things they can do better.

Going forward I'll get more opportunities to coach them and add to what the likes of Paul Osam are already giving them, but the future does look good.

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