Derry City Football Club is no stranger to having home grown talent whom represent their country at an International level – with our very own James McClean playing outstanding football for The Republic of Ireland’s Senior Team he is not only an ambassador for Derry City but for his country!
Currently the Candy Stripes are proudly feeding the National Teams for many of the Junior sides – it is a credit to the players, the club and to their managers and we couldn’t be prouder of them all!
Ronan Curtis (UEFA U-21 QUALIFIERS ROI)
Ronan Curtis – Derry City 1st Team
5th October – Republic of Ireland v Norway
Ireland’s first real effort came with just under 30 minutes remaining as Derry City forward Ronan Curtis won the ball 30-yards from goal and after a neat turn-off-pace away from Iver Fossum, his shot bounced in front of Rossbach but was well saved.
With 20 minutes remaining, Ireland should have taken the lead. Liverpool’s Corey Whelan delivered a fantastic set-piece from the right and Rossbach missed his punch under pressure from Manning but Norway cleared with Declan Rice close to following up.
Curtis fired wide from distance as Ireland continued to press forward in search of a winner which almost came in the 74th minute. Manning’s powerful free-kick somehow found it’s way into Rossbach’s arms and two minutes later, Ireland had strong claims for a penalty turned down after Curtis was brought down in the area.
Ireland’s pressure continued to mount as Manning got in down the left to find Danny Kane in the area and after his low effort was saved, Grego-Cox failed to turn the ball home with ten minutes remaining.
Connor Ronan came on with two minutes remaining but unfortunately, Norway were able to hold out to claim a valuable point as Ireland remain unbeaten.
Ireland Under-21s Head Coach Noel King said: “Norway are a good team. They’ve got a system and they play it well so it was always going to be a difficult match for us.
“I thought we stood up to the test really well and probably deserved to come away with a little bit more from the game. They caused us some problems in the first-half but I thought we dealt with those situations well and we were definitely the better team in the second-half.
“They were chasing the game in terms of the position in the table and we’re now sitting on seven points out of nine so we’re happy with what we’ve got so far.”
9th October – Republic of Ireland v Israel
QPR striker Reece Grego-Cox scored a hat-trick and Everton midfielder Harry Charsley completed the scoring as Ireland stay top of Group Five.
It was a fantastic performance from start to finish as Noel King went with an unchanged team, and they continued their unbeaten run at Tallaght Stadium.
It took just over 40 seconds to go ahead. It was a goal made in Loftus Road as QPR duo forward Ryan Manning found a low cross to Reece Grego-Cox, and he tucked home from six-yards out.
Derry City forward Ronan Curtis should have made it 2-0 eight minutes later when he bustled through two Israeli defenders on the edge of the area, but placed his effort wide of the left-hand post.
Israel were struggling to deal with the Irish front-three of Manning, Curtis and Grego-Cox, and the latter should have added to his tally in the 20th minute, but he couldn’t direct Harry Charsley’s low cross goal-wards from eight yards out.
It was Charsley who eventually doubled Ireland’s lead as the industrious Grego-Cox somehow dug out a cross from the left and after captain Josh Cullen touched the ball on, the Everton midfielder tucked home under the keeper after the half-hour.
Three minutes later, Ireland went into a three-goal lead. Israel lost the ball in defence and after a brilliant through-ball to Curtis, the Derry City forward was fouled by the out-stretched keeper, and the referee pointed to the spot. Grego-Cox took up the responsibility and put Ireland into a commanding lead at the break.
Any worries about a Israeli second-half comeback were quickly extinguished as Grego-Cox claimed his hat-trick. Manning’s right-sided corner was only punched away as far as Curtis who saw his shot well saved but Grego-Cox tucked home the rebound in the 50th minute.
Ireland continued to press forward in search of more goals as Manning went close but Ireland secured an impressive victory to stay unbeaten and continue their run at the top of the UEFA U21 European Championship qualifying group five.
Ben Doherty (UEFA U-21 QUALIFIERS NI)
Ben Doherty – Derry City 1st Team
10th October -Northern Ireland v Estonia
Northern Ireland U21s did it the hard way as they came from a goal behind to beat Estonia 4-2 tonight at Mourneview Park and go top of Qualifying Group 2.
Northern Ireland took the lead in only the second minute as centre half Ryan Johnson finished from close range. Jordan Thompson put a delightful free kick into the heart of the box which was flicked on by Cameron Dummigan to Johnson who tapped home past Matvei Igonen in the Estonia goal.
Northern Ireland’s lead didn’t last long however as Estonia caught them on the break with winger Frank Liivak finishing from close range on 11 minutes.
Thompson’s left foot was causing all sorts of problems for the Estonian defence as he found the head of Liam Donnelly from a corner who put his effort just over the bar.
Estonia turned the match on its head totally against the run of play on 18 minutes as Rauno Sappinen tapped home from from close range when the Northern Ireland defence failed to deal with a dangerous ball into the box from a corner.
A half chance fell the way of Glenavon man Mark Sykes on 33 minutes as his long range effort was tipped just over the bar by the Estonia keeper. Northern Ireland had a golden chance to equalise shortly after from a well rehearsed set-piece move. The ball eventually fell to Thompson inside the area whose effort was blocked on the line.
A frantic first half of football was rounded off on 43 minutes as Dale Gorman hit a fantastic equaliser from 25 yards out. The ball was bobbling round the Estonia penalty area and eventually rolled out to Gorman who stuck it first time off the post and into the back of the net.
The second half started at a slower tempo than the first with neither side creating anything in the early stages.
Northern Ireland then took the lead through Sykes on 61 minutes. Ben Doherty broke well down the left wing and crossed into the box towards Thompson. It was cleared to the edge of the area only as far as Sykes whose low effort took a slight deflection and nestled in the corner of the net giving the keeper no chance.
Northern Ireland put the game to bed on 74 minutes. A fantastic 30 yard strike from Sykes smashed off the bar, onto the back of Igonen and into the net for Northern Ireland’s fourth.
Northern Ireland had a great chance to go another goal ahead as David Parkhouse looked to head home at the far post only for the defender to get a last minute block in.
The match finished 4-2 with Northern Ireland facing Albania away on 10 November in their next match.
Eoin Toal ( UEFA U-19 CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS NI)
Eoin Toal – Derry City 1st Team
4th October – Northern Ireland v Poland
7th October – Germany v Northern Ireland
10th October – Belarus v Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland ended their UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifying with a 0-0 draw against Belarus.
The point means they end the three game mini tournament with the one point and in third place above Belarus after previous defeats to hosts Poland and Germany. Only the top two from the group qualify meaning Northern Ireland will not make it to the Elite Stages.
The U19s dominated the game and will rue missed chances as Harry Limb and Caolan Boyd Munce both came close in the first half.
Leo Brown replaced Limb and had chances too but the U19s were unable to break down the Belarus defence.
The game ended on a sour note as Glenavon player Bobby Burns was sent off late on.
Caolan McLaughlin (EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP – U17 NI)
Caolan Mc Laughlin – Derry City U17s
Caolan McLaughlin who has been called up to the Northern Ireland Under-17 squad for three European Championship qualifying games to be played in Malta at the end of this month.
Northern Ireland will face Switzerland, Belgium and hosts Malta between 26th Oct and 1st Nov as they bid to secure a place in the 2018 finals which will be held in England.
Caolan is in his first year at Derry and his selection is just reward after some impressive performances this season which has resulted in the attacking midfielder scoring 11 goals.
Ronan McKinley – (UNDER 16S MEN’S VICTORY SHIELD ROI)
Ronan McKinley – Derry City U15s
Ronan will attend the upcoming Republic of Ireland Under 16 Men’s Victory Shield in Northern Ireland on the following dates 20th – 27th October.