After months of trials, the Ireland under 19’s coaching staff, led by head-coach Wayne Kelly, has whittled down the squad to 23 talented young athletes to compete at the European championships this August in Serbia.
Last week, the extended squad played and trained in an Ireland camp in Gormanston College, Co. Meath while sponsors DP Gymnastics provided the team with high quality functional training for the last few months in Balbriggan and throughout camp.
Assistant-coach, Paul Vargas said that the importance of mixing up training through Gymnastics will keep the Wolfhounds sharp in their upcoming challenges late this summer:
“Anyone can lift a heavy weight,” says Paul Varga and continued, ” ,but the importance of core strength is paramount to winning the tackle, but also in that respect, for all pieces of the game. DP Gymnastics Balbriggan have really given these young lads great training, and all round good fun. It was great to be able to mix this training up for sure and we can not thank them enough for their help in sponsoring the team.” said Vargas.
The squad consists of mainly domestic Irish players both north and south of the border while a few heritage players based in England have come into the fold with added experience. The experience of heritage players Luke Findlow, Zack Fellows, Joe Togher, Jack O’Sullivan and Callum O’Neill will certainly add to the squad.
Captain James Cromie says that the team has, “high hopes and aspirations.”
“I’m sure I speak for all of the boys when I say that we’re excited for setting out to meet that challenge [and] go playing at a international youth competition.
“I wait for the up and coming months to develop as a group and as a team and to represent ourselves, each other, family and our country.” Cromie said.
The development of the underage structures has seen players come from League clubs from all parts of the country to make up the team.
Of the domestic teams, Longhorns RL and Athy Sharks have five players a piece in the squad while Belfast Met Scholars have three players representing the club and Galway Tribesmen have two. Dublin City Exiles, Belfast Stags and Portadown Pumas all have one player in the squad respectively.
Ireland U19’s 2018 Squad:
- Luke Findlow Ince Rose Bridge
- Ryan Curran Athy Sharks
- Conor Smyth Athy Sharks
- James Cromie (Captain) Belfast Stags
- Zack Fellows Midland Hurricanes
- Josh Basthill Belfast Met Scholars
- Fiach Millward Athy Sharks
- Paul McGookin Belfast Stags
- Sam Cullen Athy Sharks
- Ronan Michael (Vice Captain) Longhorns RL
- Callum O’Neill Widnes Vikings
- Jack O’Sullivan Eastern Rhinos
- Joe Togher Hindley
- Charlie Donnelly Dublin City Exiles
- Josh MacNamee Longhorns RL
- Shalun Carey Longhorns RL
- John Why Galway Tribesmen
- Jordan McKibbin Portadown Pumas
- Kevin Varga Longhorns RL
- Andrew Smyth Belfast Met Scholars
- James Mulvaney Longhorns RL
- Sam O’Sullivan Galway Tribesmen
- Gareth Gardiner Belfast Met Scholars