Former Republic of Ireland international John O’Shea has been named as the Tournament Ambassador for the upcoming Under-17 UEFA European Championships, taking place in Ireland.
O’Shea was part of the team led by Brian Kerr which won the same tournament back in Scotland in 1998. It was U16 then and the Irish team included Liam Miller, Andy Reid and Graham Barrett all of whom were to go on to win caps at senior level.
“I am delighted to be the Tournament Ambassador,” said O’Shea. “In 1998, I was lucky enough to play in the tournament, and lift the trophy in Scotland with my team-mates. It remains one of the highlights of my career.
“The opportunity to play in an international tournament on home soil is a rare one for any player, and I look forward to seeing how Colin O’Brien and his team do this May.”
“Ireland will welcome another 15 countries to our shores for the tournament and it will be fantastic to see these stars of the future play in venues all around the country, including in my own home city of Waterford.”
The draw for the Finals will take place in Dublin on April 5th when the qualifying teams from across Europe will be known.
The Republic of Ireland last hosted this tournament in 1994. In each of the last two years, they have qualified for the Finals and reached the Quarter Final stage before going out to England and the Netherlands.
Earlier this month they played two friendlies beating Poland and losing by the odd goal in three against Belgium in Marbella. The squad for that round of games included seven players from the English Premier League, six from the domestic game in Ireland and the remainder from the English Football League, Scotland and Spain.
They will host Finland in two matches at home in March as they continue their preparation for the finals tournament.
Waterford’s RSC hosts the first of those games on March 22 at 7pm, then they meet once more three days later on March 25, in Tallaght Stadium at 1pm.
Ticket packages for the Euro U17 Finals will go on sale at the end of this month.