Centenary Shield | Republic of Ireland vs Scotland PREVIEW



Centenary Shield | Under 18 Boys’ International


Wednesday, March 11, 2020


Irish open their Shield account against Scots


The Republic of Ireland Schools select will face Scotland in their opening game of the 2020 Centenary Shield series next Thursday, March 19 at Home Farm FC, Whitehall (kick off 1pm).


William O’Connor has sixteen players at his disposal for this crunch tie which sees a raft of changes to the extended squad that secured a 2-1 victory against Australia in January.


Cillian Heaney (Rice College, Westport), Rob Walsh (Glanmire Community College), Adam McCarron (Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana) and Daniel Cox (St. Joseph’s College, Galway) miss out this time but might be in the fray when the Irish entertain England (April 3, away), Wales (April 16, away), or Northern Ireland (April 29, home) later in the season.


O’Connor has included Seán McEvoy (Virginia College, Cavan) and Thomas Considine (Rockbrook Park School, Rathfarnham) to the team. McEvoy was involved in the series last season but missed out on the bulk of games due to his involvement in Colin O’Brien’s Under 17 squad. McEvoy was absent for the Aussie test as he had club commitments while Considine has recovered from a broken arm.


Hazelwood College student Brian Ahern was instrumental in the Australian success having scored a brace either side of the hour mark to cancel out Sasha Kuzevski opener. Ahern will be hoping to replicate such shooting prowess when he lines out at the same venue next Thursday afternoon.





Scotland come into this contest having managed a one all draw at home to Northern Ireland last Friday in an action-packed meeting.


Northern Ireland’s Peter McKirenan (Edmund Rice College) headed home four minutes in from a smashing effort 15 yards out. However, their advantage was short lived as Scotland equalised three minutes later. Blair Sneddon (Graeme HS) fed Gospel Ocholi (John Paul Academy) who finished confidently. The visitors had Frai Hume (NIFL Academy) sent off with twenty two minutes remaining but Scotland couldn’t penetrate the Northern defence to maximise the situation and had to share the points.


The reigning Champions, Northern Ireland enjoyed a one nil win over Wales this afternoon in Solitude. The Welsh could have taken the lead just after the hour mark but their penalty was saved. Terry Devlin (St. Mary’s College, Magherafelt) got the match winner ten minutes from time. The result now sees Frankie Wilson’s side top of the table on four points. They play England in their penultimate outing on March 27 in Shamrock Park, Portadown (7pm) before they finish their campaign against O’Connor’s charges in Buncrana on April 29 (2pm) in the final game of the 2020 series.




A goal either side of the half time interval ensured a stalemate when the teams met in Ayr United last season. Brandon Bermingham (St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda) cancelled out Josh Mulligan’s earlier effort to secure a valuable point away from home.


In 2018, the Republic of Ireland secured an impressive win to secure the Shield in the Whitehall surrounds when Scotland last came to town. Ali Regbha’s (Chanel College, Coolock) double either side of a cracking drive from Liam Kerrigan (St. Attract’a CS, Tubbercurry) gave the impressive Irish side a comfortable half time lead while Nathan Fell grabbed one back in the second period for the visitors but the Irish did enough to secure the win and capture the elusive Shield following a three year absence.


With 18 previous meetings, the Republic of Ireland have won 9, drew 8 and lost just 1. The Republic of Ireland’s impressive record came to an end in Renfrew FC back in 2017 with a solidarity goal from their Captain Kyle Banner ten minutes in.


But who will prevail next Thursday evening?


Balbriggan Community College tutor William O’Connor needs to get off to a winning start if he wishes to reproduce the form from his debut season which saw his squad capture the title in fine style.


Following Thursday’s opening contest, he has two difficult away fixtures in Spennymoor and Caernarfon Town before the conclusion of the series in his native Donegal at the end of next month.  


REPUBLIC OF IRELAND | Eoghan O’SULLIVAN (Coláiste Cois Life, Lucan), Patrick McGARVEY (Rosses Community School, Dungloe),Adam LENNON (Athlone Community School), Seán McEVOY (Virginia College, Cavan), Thomas CONSIDINE (Rockbrook Park School, Rathfarnham), Adam VERDON (Gaelcholáiste Reachrann, Donaghmede), Luke RUDDEN (Carndonagh Community School), Patrick FERRY (Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair), Brian AHERN (Hazelwood College, Dromcollogher), Eoin FARRELL (Ardscoil na Tríonóide, Athy), Cian KELLY (Old Bawn Community School, Tallaght), Charlie CONCANNON (Yeats College, Galway), Joe POWER (Presentation College, Bray), Kyle ROBINSON (Coláiste Phadráig, Lucan CBS), Andrew QUINN (Dunshaughlin Community College), Mark HANRATTY (Lusk Community College)


MANAGEMENT | William O’CONNOR, Head Coach (Balbriggan Community College),  John McSHANE, Assistant Coach (Dublin Oak Academy, Bray), Ollie HORGAN, Performance Analyst (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Conor FOLEY, GK Coach (Athlone Community College), Michael McGLYNN (Physio), Dr. Aidan O’COLMAIN (Team Doctor), Derek O’BRIEN, Equipment Manager (Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore)


SCOTLAND | Dean BEVERIDGE (Edinburgh College), Jacques HERAGHTY (Holyrood Secondary, Glasgow), Ben CAMERON (Bearsden Academy, Glasgow), Millar GAMBLE (Culloden Academy, Inverness), Lewis NICOLSON (Culloden Academy, Inverness), Jack SHARPLES (Braes High, Falkirk), Kyle SNEDDON (Madras College, St. Andrews), Lucas WILLIAMSON (Wallace High, Stirling), Ryan ARNOTT (Grove Academy, Dundee), Cieran HARKIN (St. Peter The Apostle High, Clydebank), Josh McCONVILLE (Harris Academy, Dundee), Liam NEWTON (Kirkcaldy High), James GRAHAM (Dingwall Academy), Scott NEILL (Grange Academy, Kilmarnock), Gospel OCHOLI (John Paul Academy, Glasgow), Billy OWENS (John Paul Academy, Glasgow), Jack REID (Woodmill High, Dunfermline), Blair SNEDDON (Graeme High, Falkirk)


MANAGEMENT | Craig JOHNSTONE Coach (Forth Valley Schools FA), Scott DOUGLAS Coach (Glasgow Schools FA), Gerry O’HARE Coach (Paisley Schools FA), Steven HARVIE GK Coach           (Glasgow Schools FA)


International Friendly

Saturday, January 18       Republic of Ireland 2-1 Australia  Home Farm FC                   KO 14oo hrs


Centenary Shield

Thursday, March 19          Republic of Ireland vs Scotland   Home Farm FC                   KO 13oo hrs

Friday, April 3                     England vs Republic of Ireland    Spennymoor Town FC    KO 1900 hrs

Thursday, April 16             Wales vs Republic of Ireland         Caernarfon FC                    KO 19oo hrs

Wednesday, April 29        Republic of Ireland vs N. Ireland Maginn Park                       KO 1400 hrs


Other International Results & Fixtures

Friday, March 6                   Scotland 1-1 Northern Ireland         Renfrew FC                           KO 1400 hrs

Wednesday, March 11       Northern Ireland 1-0 Wales             Cliftonville FC                      KO 1200 hrs

Friday, March 27                Northern Ireland vs England         Shamrock Park                  KO 1900 hrs

Friday, April 3                     Scotland vs Wales                             Beith                                      KO 1300 hrs

Thursday,April 9               England vs Scotland                        North Ferribly                    KO 1900 hrs

Sunday, April 26                Wales vs England                              Penybont FC                       KO 1400 hrs