European Qualifier Elite Stage
28.05.2010 at 19:00 - Borex, Borodinka
The Republic of Ireland U19 side resume their UEFA elite qualifying campaign tomorrow against reigning European champions, Ukraine in Kiev, knowing that only a positive result will keep them in the hunt for a place at this summer's finals.
Celtic defender, Richie Towell has backed his team-mates to produce a match winning performance against Ukraine, who are the overwhelming favourites to advance to this summer's finals in France. Following the disappointment of the opening day defeat to England, the former Crumlin United star said that there were a lot of positives to take from the game, "Obviously we are disappointed with the result and it was definitely a big blow to lose it in the manner in which we did. We needed a win in the first game to stamp our authority on the group straight away and prove to these teams that we are capable of reaching the finals. The whole side did brilliantly in that game, the defence was solid and our midfielders completely controlled the tempo of the game, while Robbie Brady was causing the English defence so many problems on the wing. If we play to the same standard tomorrow, I definitely think that we have a good chance of getting the result that we need," he said.
The Celtic defender has just returned from Hong Kong where he took part in the Hong Kong Sevens Cup, where Celtic were narrowly defeated by rangers in the semi-final. The UEFA U19 Championships will draw the curtain on a successful year for Towell who has starred for Celtic's youth and reserve teams this season.
Looking forward to tomorrow's game against Ukraine, Towell said, "Ukraine aren't going to give up lightly, they are the European champions and we know we will have to be on top of our game to beat them. This is a really talented squad of players and we have been working really hard with our coaching staff over the past week in preparation for these games. We believe that we are capable of winning and in turn, hope that Ukraine beat England in the final game. With all respect to Bosnia & Herzegovina, I feel that they will have a big part to play in the outcome of this group yet. Nobody has given them a chance and who knows, they might even do us a favour against England tomorrow," said Towell.
"Make no mistake, it's not an ideal situation that we find ourselves in - chasing qualification after losing our opening game. We are not out of this competition yet and the lads in the squad know that. All of the talk last week was about the star-studded England team, full of Premier League and Championship players. We were better than them on the day with the defence keeping the brightest stars of England's future at bay except for an unbelievable free-kick from Dean Parrett but we have to move on and take the positives from that game. We have too many good players in the squad who deserve to be contesting European Championships and World Cups at this level. We will be going out tomorrow to fight for our place at the European Championships, have no doubt about that," he added.
Republic of Ireland Under-19 Squad:
Ger Hanley - Mervue United
Ian McLoughlin - Ipswich Town
Richie Towell - Celtic
Johnny Dunleavy - Wolverhampton Wanderers
Andy Boyle - UCD
Sean McGinty - Manchester United
Shaun Timmins - Birmingham City
Shane McEleney - Derry City
Conor Clifford - Chelsea
Conor Henderson - Arsenal
Conor Hourihane - Sunderland
Daniel Kearns - West Ham United
Jimmy Keohane - Wexford Youths
Robbie Brady - Manchester United
Ronan Murray - Ipswich Town
Harry Crawford - Southend United.
Stephen McDonnell - Dundalk
Karl Sheppard - Galway United
UEFA Under-19 Championship Elite Stage Qualifiers:
Wednesday, May 26
England 1-0 Republic of Ireland
FFU Training complex, Kiev
Friday, May 28
Republic of Ireland v Ukraine (5pm, local time)
Monday, May 31
Bosnia-Herzegovina v Republic of Ireland (4pm, local time)
FFU Training complex, Kiev.