Congratulations to Denis Smith (Poetry Scully) on his selection to the Leinster squad for the upcoming FAI Schools u-18 Boys’ Interprovincial tournament which takes place in the AUL Complex, Clonshaugh this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Denis is one of 64 players from all over Ireland who will take part in the tournament which also doubles as the first step in the process of selecting the FAI Schools’ International 18-man squad which will compete in the Centenary Shield in 2019.

The Republic of Ireland’s 2018/19 campaign will kick off with an exciting international friendly against Australia who visit Dublin in mid-January. This will be excellent preparation for William O’Connor’s International players for the Centenary Shield.

Their Centenary Shield defence will see the squad travel to Scotland in their opening fixture . Following this, the scholars will be in action for three consecutive weeks as the team are at home to England , away to Northern Ireland and at home to Wales.

With this in mind, all eyes will be on the Interprovincial series to scout for the best talent on display within the network of post primary schools. The three day event will see a series of six matches played with provincial sides awarded two points for a win and one point for a draw. The format makes for an exciting finale in the Sunday morning outings.

St. Kevin’s Community College tutor Ian Ryan guided his Leinster crew to Interprovincial success last season as they drew 2-2 with Ulster in a dramatic conclusion to the competition.  A solitary point was enough to dash Ulster’s dream of retaining the title as a penalty from St. Kevin’s talisman Jake Walker fifteen minutes from time was converted at the second time of asking ensuring a tremendous thirteenth title in seventeen years for the province.

Most of the provinces have a completely new look squad on display for this weekend’s action. Connacht will look to the experienced duo of Dónal Higgins (Yeats College) and Colin Kelly (St. Joseph’s College, Galway) as they are the only players to make a welcome return from last season.

There will be a competitive outing on Friday evening with the four teams in action as Munster line out against Ulster at 4pm while Leinster will entertain Connacht at 5.30pm.

Balbriggan Community College mastermind William O’Connor had a wonderful debut season at the helm for the Republic of Ireland Schools. He captured the elusive Centenary Shield with an unbeaten record in the series so he will be looking to add to this record in 2019.

Following the tournament on Sunday evening, a training squad will be selected by the Irish Schools’ management team with their first session scheduled for Saturday, November 24 in Abbotstown. The final squad will be announced after Christmas for the first test against Australia in mid-January.

In keeping with the long-standing tradition of maintaining the interest in the competition until the final matches on Sunday, the draw for Saturday’s and Sunday’s matches will be made following the games on Friday evening.

THE LEINSTER IS: Jamie Cleary (Driminagh Castle CBS, Walkinstown), Harry McEvoy (St. Benulidus College, Stillorgan), Kevin O’Reilly, Conor Behan (Moyle Park College, Clondalkin), Keith Carter (Coláiste Choilm, Swords), Jamin Nwanze (Rockbrook Park School, Rathfarnham), Denis Smith (Belvedere College), James Clarke (Boyne Community School, Trim), Brandon Bermingham (St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda), Jack Moylan (St. Fintan’s High School, Sutton), Byron O’Gorman(Clonkeen College, Blackrock), Alex Aspil (The High School, Rathgar), Ross Tierney (St. Aidan’s CBS, Whitehall), Jake Ellis(Oatlands College, Mount Merrion), Jack Savage (Old Bawn Community School, Tallaght), David Odumosu (O’Fiaich College, Dundalk)

Management  – Ian Ryan & Fintan Sheridan (St. Kevin’s Community College, Clondalkin), Davey Cullen (Woodbrook College, Bray), Stephen O’Reilly (GK Coach), Jordan Keogh (Video Analyst), Ferdia McKeon (Physio)

 U18 BOYS’ INTERPROVINCIAL TOURNAMENTAUL COMPLEX, CLONSHAUGH

35 minutes per half. No extra time. 10 min h/t interval

Friday, November 9

4.00pm Munster v Ulster

5.30pm Connacht v Leinster

Saturday, November 10

3.00pm Draw will be made on Friday evening

4.30pm Draw will be made on Friday evening

Sunday, November 11

10.00am Fixtures TBC

11.30am Fixtures TBC

(Extract from the Meath Chronicle)

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