Ireland go to battle with the Netherlands at 7pm on Monday, with a spot in the European U17s Championship Semi-Final at stake. Here’s everything you need to know.
The European U17 Championships is being hosted in England, and Ireland will face the Netherlands at Chesterfield FC’s stadium.
The Boys In Green’s last game took place at St George’s Park in front of a sell-out crowd, and a big representation is expected in Chesterfield again on Monday.
The game kicks off at 7pm.
Where Can I Watch The Game?
RTÉ, much to the joy of Irish soccer fans, will broadcast the game live on RTÉ 2. It can also be viewed via the RTÉ Player.
Have We Been Playing Well?
Our U17s booked their place in Monday’s semi-final by making light work of Bosnia on Friday, securing a 2-0 victory, thanks to goals from Troy Parrott and Adam Idah.
We previously lost 2-0 to Belgium, but bounced back to defeat Denmark 1-0. Colin O’Brien’s side will enter the game in confident mood.
Who Is The Manager?
Former Cork City player and highly-experienced underage coach, Colin O’Brien, is the man behind the success of the U17s along with a number of other young Irish sides.
O’Brien is highly respected in Irish footballing circles and will have marshalled the troops to the best of his ability. He will expect a strong performance from his side.
A number of players have been performing well, but Norwich City’s Adam Idah is having an incredible season. The former Douglas Community School striker possesses lightning pace, and a composure in front of goal that is mature beyond his years.
He recently swept the Norwich City Awards, being named Academy Player Of The Year and U18 Player Of The Year, and will look to cap off an incredible season by leading Ireland all the way in this competition.
Netherlands will undoubtedly have earmarked Idah as a serious threat, but expect a big performance from the former College Corinthians youngster if Ireland do progress.
This is an easy one; Daishawn Redan.
The Chelsea youngster’s blistering pace is absolutely frightening. He comes highly-rated and will test the pace of Ireland’s defence. He obliterated a strong Spanish defence earlier in the competition.
Ireland captain Nathan Collins will need a strong performance to contain Redan, and the six-foot four-inch Stoke City centre-back will be well-prepped by O’Brien.
Can They Do It?
Of course they can!
Make no bones about it, this is a strong Netherlands side. They come into the Quarter-Final having comfortably beaten heavyweights Germany and Spain, and also Serbia.
Ohm and lest we forget, they did so without conceding a solitary goal, further underlining their position with the bookies as strong favourites.
This is a major challenge for Ireland’s U17s. However, they have proven time and again how capable they are of playing good, free-flowing football. If they can contain Redan, and Idah is supported with good supply from the likes of Parrott, Ireland could pull off a shock.
At 4/1, they are worth a punt.
Tournament hosts England await the winners in the semi-final following their 2-0 victory against Norway.
Ireland vs Netherlands kicks off at 7pm on RTÉ 2.