Ireland name U-19 World Cup squad
Ireland have announced their squad for the Under-19 World Cup which takes place in New Zealand in January. Andrew Balbirnie will captain the side, who start in a difficult group with Australia, South Africa and United States.
Eight of the fifteen named played in the 2008 tournament when Ireland couldn't pass the group stages, although they did manage consolation wins over Bermuda and Zimbabwe.
Ireland are chasing full-member status from the ICC and after the senior side's strong showing in the 50 and 20-over World Cups it will be important for the youngsters to show their ability. Their passage to New Zealand came after winning the World Cup Qualifying tournament in Canada and Matt Dwyer, the Ireland coach, is confident that his side can maintain the good run.
"We've got a very talented group of players who have been working hard in the gym and the nets to give themselves the best possible chance. They all play at senior level in Ireland and many of them have attracted the attention of English county sides.
"They know there's a senior World Cup coming up in the sub-continent in 2011, and a good showing in this tournament could well see them joining Paul Stirling in becoming a regular feature in the senior men's squad."
Brian Walsh, the Ireland manager, echoed these sentiments and thinks that Ireland could stir a surprise in New Zealand. "There's never been a greater opportunity for the players to progress, and there's no better motivation than a World Cup place. I've been impressed by their commitment and dedication in the build up.
"They've all been given fitness and conditioning schedules and their progress has been closely monitored by the backroom staff. It wasn't easy selecting a final group of 15, and there were some difficult choices to make. There's no doubt it's not the easiest of groups, but if we play to our potential, we certainly have the ability to cause a shock."
Squad Andrew Balbirnie (Captain), Ben Ackland, Adrian D'Arcy, George Dockrell, Eddie Richardson, Graham McDonnell, Jordan Coghlan, Shane Getkate, Graeme McCarter, Lee Nelson, James Shannon, Stuart Poynter, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Craig Young.