An unfamiliar looking Republic of Ireland Under-18 squad flew out to Portugal today to take part in the Viseu International Tournament with manager Noel O'Reilly hoping that some of the uncapped players can stake claims for regular places in Ireland teams in the future.
Eleven of the 18-man squad that travelled out are uncapped with O'Reilly describing the squad as 'the most inexperienced and naïve I've ever worked with', though he is hoping that the three-game tournament, which will see Ireland face Turkey, Portugal and Norway, will produce one or two unexpected stars.
He added: "I said to them that a lot of the younger players who have broken into the senior ranks first made impressions at tournaments like this. It's a terrific opportunity for them all. You can't compensate for international experience, it is immeasurable but I'm looking forward to what will be a test."
Although the majority of the squad are uncapped, O'Reilly is familiar with the whole squad with most of them being involved in various squad training sessions and trials over the last four years. Included this time is Everton's Anthony Gerrard, a cousin of Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, Kevin Thornton, brother of Under-21 star Sean, Northampton Town duo, Luke Graham and Paul Danaher, and Ciaran Donnelly.
Under-18 Squad: Logan (Leicester City), Treacy (Oldham Athletic), Elebert (Preston North End), Lyng (Preston North End), Gerrard (Everton), Collins (Huddersfield Town), O'Brien (Bolton Wanderers), Thornton (Coventry City), Donnelly (Hamilton Academicals), Foley (Cheltenham Town), Keogh (Leeds United), Ridgway (Luton Town), Salmon (Cherry Orchard), Graham (Northampton Town), Byrne (St Patrick's Athletic), Gill (Derry City), Danaher (Northampton Town), Platt (Liverpool).
Ireland U-18s face Turkey on Wednesday (Kick off 4.00), Portugal on Thursday (Kick off 4.00) and Norway on Saturday at 9.30 am.
Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland Under-17 manager Sean McCaffrey has named an 18-man squad for two games against Turkey this week.
Under 17 Squad: Randolph (Charlton Athletic), Duggan (Stoke City), Synnott (Ipswich Town), O'Leary (Aberdeen), Morris (Leeds United), Reilly (Home Farm), JP Kelly (Liverpool), Chambers (Shelbourne), Fitzgerald (Lourdes Celtic), Dennehy (Shelbourne), Stokes (Arsenal), Clarke (Ipswich Town), S Kelly (Kingdom Boys), Kearney (Everton), Lordan (Ipswich Town), Meehan (Maymount Celtic), Bracken (Lourdes Celtic), Walsh (Celtic)
Ireland U-17s take on the Turks in Bursa on Thursday at 12.30 Irish time, before moving on to Yalova for a second game on Saturday, also at 12.30.
Filed by Johnny Proby