Ireland Under 21s

I wonder are we finally starting to get a decent team together at this level. We’ve had a couple of decent results recently and there’s some decent players selected.

Givens names starting 11
07/09/2007 - 13:16:16

Republic of Ireland Under-21 manager Don Givens has named his starting 11 for tomorrow nights vital clash against Portugal at Turners Cross (kick-off 7.45pm).

Celtic defender Darren ODea will captain the side as they kick-start their bid to qualify for the 2009 UEFA Under-21 European Championship. Cork-born duo Stephen OHalloran and Billy Clarke will also start the match, giving them an opportunity to impress in front of their hometown crowd.

Clarke will be joined up front by Adam Rooney and James OBrien, while the midfield trio of Stephen Gleeson, Patrick Cregg and Stephen Quinn will play behind them.

OHalloran and ODea will play in defence, alongside Richard Keogh and Eddie Nolan, while Darren Randolph has been named as the starting goalkeeper.

Manager Don Givens believes the side is strong enough to over-come a tough Portuguese challenge.

Portugal are a very good team and we will need to maintain high levels of concentration and discipline if we are to beat them, he said.

We have recently recorded good results against Holland and Germany, two other top sides, so there is no reason why we cant do it again against Portugal.

We are hoping for a large crowd at Turners Cross because a big, vocal crowd would really help the lads. The people of Cork have always been very good at supporting football at all age levels, so we hope they will turn-out in force again.

A limited number of tickets for the match are available through Ticketmaster outlets. Supporters will also be able to purchase tickets outside the stadium prior to the match. Tickets cost 25 for adults and 10 for children.

Republic of Ireland Under-21 starting XI v Portugal:

Darren Randolph (Charlton Athletic)

Eddie Nolan (Blackburn Rovers)

Richard Keogh (Bristol City)

Darren ODea (Celtic) - captain

Stephen OHalloran (Aston Villa)

Patrick Cregg (Falkirk)

Stephen Gleeson (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Stephen Quinn (Sheffield United)

James OBrien (Celtic)

Adam Rooney (Stoke City)

Billy Clarke (Ipswich Town)