League of Ireland giants Shamrock Rovers and Galway United are among two big games confirmed for the new Mayo U21 soccer team to test themselves against.
Galway United will play Mayo on July 1 and the Shamrock Rovers game will take place on the August Bank Holiday weekend. Both games will be played at Solar 21 Park.
The Mayo Football League recently announced the introduction of a ‘Mayo U21 Development Squad’ which the Mayo League said will provide a platform for its elite young players to gain valuable experience playing games at an elite level.
Thirteen clubs will be represented as all players selected are invited to attend an assessment day on Bank Holiday Monday, June 5, at 1pm in Solar 21 Park. Players should attend in their club socks, togs and training top.
The squad will be managed by UEFA licensed coaches Joe Kelly (manager/head coach) and Eamonn Daly (assistant coach) together with their backroom team.
“Any time you get to manage the a county is great,” says Joe Kelly. “I did it with the schoolboys at various age groups. At senior level, it’s the highest honour you can get.
“It’s a very talented bunch in the county. The age profile of the league has really dropped the last few years to 18 to 23 and I think this initiative will give them exposure to a higher level football than junior football and much higher quality in terms of conditioning and the pace.”
To aid the process of development, each squad selected will include a select number of experienced players and Kelly has confirmed that former League of Ireland midfielder Ryan Connolly will be one of those individuals.
Goalkeepers: Stefan Hester, James Robinson (Castlebar Celtic), Kian Gallagher (Erris United), Jack Livingstone (Manulla).
Defenders: Dean O’Malley (Ballyglass), Jack Rochford, Cillian Redmond (Ballyheane) Danny O’Toole (Ballinrobe Town), Dylan Howley, Mark Cunningham (Castlebar Celtic), Brian Durkan (Conn Rangers), Seán Niland, Dan Duffy (Kiltimagh Knock United), Ruairí Henry (Manulla), Eoghan Rainey (Straide & Foxford United), Cillian White, Harrison Quinn (Westport United).
Midfielders: Garry Mellett (Ballinrobe Town), Dylan Duane, Oisín Tighe (Ballina Town), Oran Groarke, Fionn Mahon, Paul Walsh (Castlebar Celtic), Conor Flynn, Adam Gallagher, Colm Rutledge (Conn Rangers), Diarmuid Coggins (Crossmolina), James Morley (Claremorris), Owen McHale (Erris United), Liam McCormack, Cormac Caufield, Kiltimagh Knock United), Kienan Smyth (S&F United), Ryan Connolly (Ballyglass).
Strikers: Aiden Dunleavy, Nathan Reilly Doyle (Ballyheane), Luke Kelly (Castlebar Celtic), Evan Reape (Conn Rangers), Niall Coggins (Crossmolina), Adam Nugent, Dylan O’Malley (Westport United).