The Republic of Ireland’s UEFA Regions’ Cup squad are looking to to secure their place in the final of the UEFA Regions Cup tournament today when they face Czech side Olomouc in Istanbul (Kick off 4pm Irish time).
Janesboro’s Danny O’Neil and Abbeyfeale United’s Chris Smith will be hoping to play their part in the crucial game.
Gerry Davis’ side are joint top with Spanish side Castilla y León but have a less impressive goal difference. The Irish need to beat the Czechs and hope that Russian side South Region hold the Spanish to a draw at least.
The Irish coach is pleased with how his side, selected from players from Connacht and Munster, have performed in in Turkey this week.
“We’ve a couple of knocks and niggles which we’ll wait and see how they are before we decide upon a team for tomorrow,” he said.
“We trained today, did some recovery work and just got on the ball and cleared the heads.
“We analysed how the Czechs did in their two games and they are a decent side. They conceded at vital stages of both games and could have equalised against the Spanish.
“They also could have been two up against the Russians. They will be a tough side to break down and it will be a tough enough challenge to win the game.”
With the outcome of the other game in the group having an impact on the Irish chances, Davis knows that there can be potential for distraction but his side will maintain their focus on winning their own fixture.
“We’ll have somebody at the other game so that we know what’s going on as it may impact on the decisions in the game. The first thing is to go and win this one. We’re aware of all the permutations and we’ll know that as the game progresses,” he said.
Teams P W D L F A +/- Pts 1 Castilla y León 2 1 1 0 4 1 3 4 2 Region 2 2 1 1 0 1 0 1 4 3 South Region 2 1 0 1 2 2 0 3 4 Olomouc 2 0 0 2 2 6 -4 0
“In this campaign we’ve played the Italians and the Spanish, the two most successful nations in this competition’s history. We’ve beaten one away and drawn with the other in 37C degrees of heat. That’s a remarkable achievement already.
“We’ve been reflecting on this with the staff and we’ve all come an awful long way over the past year from our first get together at Lecarrow Park at the Roscommon District League ground, which was July 23 last year.
“We’ve had a year on the road and now to be in with a shout of reaching the final on the last day of the group stages is a remarkable achievement.”