BY KIERAN McCARTHY
REIGNING Celtic Ross West Cork Youth Sports Star Connor Ellis has been named in the Republic of Ireland U19 squad for an international friendly away against Italy next Monday evening, September 7th.
The Kealkil teenager, who made his senior debut with Cork City against Longford in July, is in Paul Doolin’s squad for the game in Cava de' Tirreni (5pm kick-off Irish).
Striker Ellis, a former Bantry Bay Rovers star, is fast making a name for himself as one of the top young players in the country, and he will hope to make an impression in this game as Ireland build up preparations for the UEFA U19 Championships Qualifying Round which takes place in November.
Ireland host Group One which includes Slovenia, Lativa and Scotland.
Head coach Doolin commented: ‘This year's batch sees us bring in a few in from the SSE Airtricity League including first team players and players doing well with their clubs in the U19 League.
‘There's an opportunity for other players. Hopefully this is a start of building a squad as we can't keep changing and changing. We've Ukraine next month and then the qualifiers in November so we want to be ready for that.
‘We've had these lads a few times at U18 level and took players to Portugal at U18 level. That was basically a home-based squad as it was a non-FIFA week so perhaps that needs to be looked at. We beat and drew with Luxembourg in U18 games in June but the performances weren't great so we have to improve.
‘You are always looking to work with the players and this is the third time we've had this age-group in the past year. Slovenia in our group will have met 13 times so you'd prefer to have more opportunities to work with the players.’