Westport’s Conor Walsh was between the sticks, as the Ireland U17s battled back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Poland and finish top of Group 5 of the 2022 European U17 Championships qualifiers at Turner’s Cross today. Fellow Westport man Daniel Kelly was an unused substitute.
Ireland found themselves 2-0 down on the 20th minute as Oliwier Slawinski hit a brace, but Ireland rallied back as Cork City’s Mark O’Mahony scored on the 27th minute and Justin Ferizaj curled in a stunning free on the hour mark as it finished honours-even.
This Irish side has been celebrated as it is the first Irish side in decades not to feature a player from an English club, which highlights how much football has changed in the country due to Brexit. With the UK leaving the EU, Irish players under the age of 18 are no longer allowed to travel to England to play football. Both Walsh and Kelly are a part Sligo Rovers’ youth system.
Colin O’Brien’s men will now progress to the Elite Round of the qualifiers next spring as group winners.