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Tom Mohan praises intelligent Ireland U19s for reaching Euros semi-final

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

10:30 22 Jul 2019

Republic of Ireland Under-19's manager Tom Mohan has praised the game intelligence and attitude of his players after they booked their place in the European Championship semi-finals last night. 

A 2-1 win over the Czech Republic means they Boys in Green will face reigning champions Portugal in the last four on Wednesday.

In the 35th minute, Jonathan Afolabi opened the scoring for Ireland before the Czechs equalised 11 minutes from time but just 60 seconds later Tipperary substitute Barry Coffey secured the winner.

Speaking to Off the Ball this morning Mohan had high praise for both his squad and backroom team.

"In the modern game, there's so many different trends and systems and styles. You've got to look at the strengths and weaknesses of opponents. Our analyst team of Martin Doyle, Mickey Feeney and Mark Scanlan put massive work in and have so much ready for us right after games...it's so, so important that players are receptive to the information."

"There's team meetings...clips of the opposition, clips of ourselves, we go out to deliver the training session and after training they [the players] have to present as well, to show an understanding of the learnings. That's important as well; that they can come back with the feedback and any issues or concerns they have, they bring them up and we're both crystal clear."

The side has had an up-and-down campaign so far with a draw in their opening game against Norway that was followed by a loss to France. The win last night though means they'll finish second in Group B, will progress and are just one game away from the final.

Mohan spoke of the importance of the squad as a whole and their work rate in a competition like this.

"We've used well over 30 players this year in the qualifying phase and the finals.

"Take Barry Coffey last night, Barry hadn't played much in our two previous games and he responded last night. The importance of the squad members, they've been really, really good, they're training really, really well, that can be a very powerful tool as well, that group of players that maybe haven't played yet but the door's starting to open for them now."

Former Finn Harps midfielder Mohan, who's originally from Fermanagh, also discussed the development of his squad and the learning curve they're on via group and one-to-one feedback sessions.

"It's something we work on a lot in team meetings, pre-training meetings, post-training meetings, analysing training and also analysing games. We've got a lot of work to do on the opposition too, it tests us all but it's good.

"Once you're honest, you're never harsh. It works both ways, these fells have a good mentality, they take it on board and they move on."

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