This coming Saturday night all roads lead to Cooke Park, Tipperary town where the Republic of Ireland will face Scotland in a friendly where both prepare for the upcoming UEFA Regions Cup qualifiers. Kick-off is at 7pm (19:00)
The big news is that flying St. Michael’s winger Jimmy Carr is the latest TSDL player to be called up for international duty. Jimmy, a native of Cappawhite, will join his TSDL and St. Michael’s teammates. Irish record-breaking captain James Walsh, who has the honour of leading his country out on home soil in only the second recognised Amateur International to be staged in the Premier County. Other TSDL players in the squad for Saturday are regular Irish and Saints stars Christopher Higgins and Paul Breen.
Irish boss Gerry Smith, who led the Irish Amateurs to historic Silver Medals in Portugal in 2011, has named an 18 man squad – eight of these will be making their International debut as Smith spreads the net to unearth new talent. The squad will be made up mainly of players from the Munster Senior League and Leinster Senior League with just six ‘junior players’ at the moment in the line-up. These include four TSDL players along with one each from Dublin AUL and Wexford League.
James Walsh and Chris Higgins played in the 2-1 defeat in Spain in an Amateur friendly in Barcelona last week. However, the Irish having a 100% record in the only other Amateur international played in Cooke Park when defeating England in the rain by 1-0 on 30 September 2006, before nearly two thousand people, will be looking for similar support and luck against a Scottish side making their debut in the Premier County.
Scotland come into this game hoping to secure a victory that will put them in the right frame of mind for their visit to the Czech Republic for their EUFA Region Cup qualifying games against the Czech Republic, Germany and Hungary between 24 and 28 October.
The Republic of Ireland will not be playing their qualifiers until March 2013 when they visit San Marino to face the hosts along with England and Northern Ireland to see who can top the Group. From the winners of the 8 Groups, a venue will be selected to stage the UEFA Regions Cup Finals in 2013.
Supporters are asked to obey the stewards and come early to avoid parking problems.