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Team 33 | "England is an option but look further afield" - A new horizon for young Irish footballers?


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On Saturday, I was in Enfield for the first day of the FAI's three-day training camp for Ireland's newest set of internationals. 

The Ireland under-15s is the first step for youngsters with international aspirations and currently, they are led by head coach Jason Donohue and coaches including ex-Ireland centre-back Sean St Ledger who were all on hand at Johnstown House to put the young players through their paces in team meetings and out on the training field.

I had the chance to chat to Donohue, FAI head of fitness Dan Horan and two of the parents in attendance.

In the interview with Donohue, who is also a coach tutor who has helped the likes of Robbie Keane and Damien Duff as they do their UEFA badges, we discussed the philosophy of playing out from the back and how they select the 18 players that made the cut for the training camp which leads to a match against their Polish counterparts next month.

But he also made a very interesting point towards the end of the interview. While most Irish youngsters will head towards English and Scottish clubs from the age of 16, Donohue would like to see more youngsters try going further afield to other nations: "All I'm saying is, the message I'm trying to say to parents is look further afield. England is an option but look further afield. There are other opportunities. Football is a global game."  

On this week's Team 33, I was joined by Enda Coll, Ciaran Bradley and Jonathan Higgins to discuss that point and whether it's better for Irish to start trying to move to the continent if they do leave this country. 

You can listen to the full interview with Jason Donohue and the studio chat on the podcast player or on iTunes:

Apart from Gary Neville and Arsenal Fan TV founder Robbie Lyle, recent interviews on Team 33 include former Man United cult hero Andrei Kanchelskis, former Ireland striker Niall Quinn, ex-England international Carlton Palmer, former Newcastle and Everton left back Alessandro Pistone, Chelsea legends Bobby Tambling and Paddy Mulligan, Dutch legend Johan Neeskens, ex-England striker Darius Vassell, Liverpool legend David Fairclough, former Ireland midfielder Mark Kinsella, USA captain Eric Lichaj and former Everton forward Tomasz Radzinski. Plus our in-depth chats with Tony CotonPackie BonnerNobby SolanoRon Atkinson and Alan Curbishley are still available on iTunes. You can find them all in one place by subscribing to Team 33 on iTunes.


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