Republic of Ireland Under-16 Head Coach Paul Osam has praised his squad after they secured third place in the Aegean Cup after beating Albania 3-0
Osam's side scored eight in their four matches conceding just once. Their only loss came against the hosts Turkey who have beaten Belgium and Portugal this season.
On the Albania victory
It was a great performance and we could have scored six. I think we should be looking at being more clinical but I’m very pleased with the performance. We prepared for a 3-5-2 formation but Albania went with 4-3-3 which wasn’t an issue for us as we have good players who know how to adapt. It was a good win and I’m pleased to see us finish in third.
The players’ development in the tournament
Myself, Mark Connors [Assistant Coach], the rest of the staff and the players sat down after the disappointment of the Victory Shield and looked at how we could improve. We put focus on the transition from attack to defence and the players responded through hard work which has been reflected by conceding just one goal against Turkey – and that was a freak goal. Learning how to adapt to unknown opposition such as a very talented Tanzania team, a strong Turkey team and different styles in Kosovo and Albania will be an education on tournament football for the players. Now it's for them to take those lessons on board when we have our next tournament in Romania and then from there onto Colin O’Brien’s Under-17 team.
On the players joining the squad for the first time
“They have been excellent. I’ve been delighted with the performances of Harry Nevin and it was good to see Dara McGuinness get a couple of goals – he could probably scored more.
“Gerard Killane and Jack O’Reilly are two players who have done well and have great potential. They were great addition to the squad”