janesboro's Daniel O'Neill, right, in action against Aisling Annacotty
TWO Limerick-based players have been included by Republic of Ireland Amateur international team manager Gerry Davis’ squad for the forthcoming UEFA Regions Cup Finals in Turkey.
Defenders Danny O’Neill, of Janesboro, and Abbeyfeale United’s Chris Smith are among the players named in the squad.
The Connacht Munster region will face Russia representatives South Region on Saturday, July 1, then meet Spanish representatives Castilla y Leon on Monday, July 3, before the group concludes against Czech side Olomouc on Thursday, July 6. The group winners will progress to the final.
Ireland are the current holders of the UEFA Regions Cup following their success with the Leinster Munster selection in Dublin two years ago.
Davis's extended squad came together for two friendly games against Jersey at the weekend. They won 5-2 at Jackman Park, in Limerick, on Saturday and then 2-1 in Frank Cooke Park, Tipperary, on Sunday.
The Irish boss believes those games ensured all of the squad got the opportunity to stake their claim for a place in the final 20 travelling to Istanbul.
"The two games against Jersey were ideal. They were two great tests and Jersey showed they were a decent side. There were some really good performances over the two games," said Davis.
"They've bought into everything we've done with them from the tactical work, the analysis side, diet and nutrition and their fitness. Its great credit to them. Unfortunately Stephen Bradley from Janesboro in Limerick was a long term injury absentee but we've been lucky enough on that side of things.
"We've had a look at a lot of players and people who've done well this season for their clubs have shown that they can come through. David Stack has done very well for Cobh Wanderers, Niall Brennan was part of the Boyle Celtic side that did so well and Chis Smith from Abbeyfeale was the first Desmond League player included at this level."
UEFA Regions Cup Finals Squad
Goalkeepers: Brendan O’Connell (Rockmount), Mark Power (College Corinthians)
Defenders: Ken Hoey (Rockmount), Chris Higgins (St Michael's), Stephen Kelly (Newmarket Celtic), Mark Horgan (Avondale United), Conor Griffin (Calry Bohs), Chris Smith ( Abbeyfeale United), Danny O’Neill (Janesboro)
Midfielders: Hughie O’Donovan (Avondale United), Jimmy Carr (St Michael's), Brian Murphy (Avondale United), David Joyce (Clonmel Celtic), Andy Gannon (Avondale United), David Stack (Cobh Wanderers), Shane Daly Butz (UCC)
Forwards: Eoin Hayes (Newmarket Celtic), David Hoban (Westport), Niall Brennan (Boyle Celtic), Kevin O’Connell (Mayfield United)