The Rep of Ireland Amateur team are currently preparing for the qualifiers of UEFA Regions Cup 2013. The Rep of Ireland, captained by James Walsh of St. Michael’s AFC (Tipperary) , the country’s most capped amateur male player, went all the way to the Final of this prestigious competition for the first time in Portugal in 2011.
The Rep of Ireland will have to win a qualifying group that consists of England, Northern Ireland, and San Marino that takes place in San Marino between the 6 and 10 March to secure a place in the Finals.
The Leinster and Munster Provinces defeated Connaught and Ulster 2-0 for the right to fly the flag for the Rep of Ireland once again in this UEFA competition for amateur players.
James Walsh along with his St. Michael’s team-mate Christopher Higgins and Carrick United’s Adrian Walsh were part of the team that reached the 2011 decider and are included in a 33-man squad.
Jimmy Carr of St. Michael’s, who made his début earlier this season against Scotland at Cooke Park, Tipperary is the fourth player from the Premier County to be included. Paul Breen part of Portugal 2011 success is battling a back injury and not included.
Unlike the Junior International scene where former players with League of Ireland experience can participate once re-graded, players in this competition must NEVER have played professional or semi-professional football.
The majority of the squad comes from the Leinster Senior League (16); Dublin AUL Junior League (7); Munster Senior League (4); TSDL (3); Waterford (1); Kilkenny (1) and Limerick (1).
Manager Gerry Smith is currently preparing for these qualifiers with training sessions every Saturday between now and March at the AUL Complex, Dublin.
The games will take place on the following dates
06/03/2013: England versus Rep of Ireland
08/03/2013: San Marino versus Rep of Ireland
10/03/2013: Northern Ireland versus Rep of Ireland