Ireland's U17 squad prepared for critical UEFA showdown against Wales

Head Coach Colin O'Brien

Head Coach Colin O'Brien Credit: FAI

After a difficult opening defeat against Poland, the Republic of Ireland's U17 team is looking to bounce back as they face Wales in their second game of the UEFA European U17 Championships.

The match is set to take place at the Puskás Akadêmia Pancho Arena in Felcsut, Hungary, on Saturday, May 20th, with a 3.30 pm kick-off Irish time.

In their previous encounter, the young Irish side fell 5-1 to Poland. The only Irish goal of the match was netted by 15-year-old Ike Orazi of Shamrock Rovers, making him the youngest scorer in the finals so far.

The upcoming match against Wales presents an opportunity for redemption. Like Ireland, Wales had an unbeaten run during their qualification campaign, where they managed to surpass Croatia and Sweden to reach the Elite Round. A draw against Montenegro ensured their place in their first ever U17 European Championships.

The conditions for Saturday's match are expected to be much warmer than earlier in the week, with temperatures set to reach up to 25°C.

The Ireland Men's Under-17 team has a clean bill of health, with no injury concerns reported.

Speaking ahead of the game, Ireland Men's Under-17 Head Coach Colin O'Brien emphasized his team's resilience. "I know the players were hurting and there were a lot of lessons to be learned. We are far better than what we showed and you get punished at this level. But they are a great group of players who will be determined to bounce back and it’s now about getting something from games one and two,” he said.

Jason Healy, the U17 goalkeeper, also showed optimism for the upcoming match. He said, "It was a difficult opening game but this is tournament football and the games come thick and fast. It’s a strong group of players and if you see the two phases it took to qualify it shows we do deserve to be here."

"We appreciate all the support and all the people that are coming over. We’ll do our all for the country and we won’t go down without a fight,” Healy added.

The match will be broadcast on RTÉ News Channel and RTÉPlayer.

For more information on the competition, check out the tournament's Groups, Fixtures, and Results.