Under-16 squad Friendly International
Turkey 2 -1 Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland Under-16 team lost the first game of their double-friendly fixture against Turkey this afternoon in Izmir.
Ireland went into the game buoyed by their display in the 2-2 draw against Wales last month, when they were unfortunate not to win, but they were second best for most of this match against a talented Turkish team.
Vincent Butler’s team struggled to cope with the hot conditions, which exceeded thirty degrees celsius, and seldom pressed the home side in the opening half.
Turkey took a first-half lead into the break and doubled their advantage shortly after the restart when Irish goalkeeper Josh Byrne allowed the ball slip from his grasp to the opposition’s striker, who poked the ball home with ease.
The Irish found their form after that and began to threaten with some fluid passing movements.
Substitute George Landais was fouled inside of the penalty area as he was about to convert a chance and from the penalty kick that followed, Robert Brady slotted the ball home to make it 2-1 with 12 minutes remaining.
Ireland attempted to push for a late equaliser but fatigue was always going to be a factor. Their efforts to draw level were hampered by the loss of key players Danny Joyce and Brady to injury in the latter stages.
Irish team manager Vincent Butler is confident that his team will be better equipped to reach the level they’re capable of when the nations meet again on Thursday, also in Izmir.
“The heat did have a big effect on our performance today but we’ll be better acclimatised to the conditions for the second match,” he said.
“That said, I thought we could have played better today. The goals we gave away were not good and we didn’t pass the ball around as well as we should have.
“Turkey are a good team who are physically strong. They have a tremendous Youth system in place after investing millions into developing their players from an early age.”
He concluded: “We’re still going through the assessment stage of the season and 16 players got to play some part today. The players in the squad who didn’t start the game today will be selected in the team for Thursday.”
Republic of Ireland U-16:
Josh Byrne – Villa FC
Leigh Swords - Belvedere
Stephen McDonnell – Quay Celtic
Mark O'Brien – Cherry Orchard
Oliver Nicholas – Arsenal
Aidan Dadoo - Stella Maris
Daniel Joyce - Belvedere
Oliver Kelly – Reading
John Gorman – Manchester United
Robert Brady – St. Kevin’s Boys
Conor Murphy – St. Kevin’s Boys
Rory Gartlan – Renmore for McDonnell (45 mins)
George Landais – Millwall for Gorman (45 mins)
Shane Murray – Arklow Town for O’Brien (55 mins)
Robert Benson – Athlone Town for Brady (70 mins)
John Egan – Greenwood for Joyce (75 mins)
Under-16 Friendly Internationals:
Tuesday, September 18th
Turkey 1 – 2 Republic of Ireland
Izmir, 5pm local time
Thursday, September 20th
Turkey v Republic of Ireland
Izmir, 5pm local time