Former Limerick manager Pat Scully has today named an 18-man squad for the 2013 FIFPro Winter Tournament, which takes place later this week in Norway.
The four team tournament consists of sides from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Ireland for currently out-of-contract players and takes place in Oslo for the third consecutive year on Thursday 10th January.
The squad, who have been in training since late November, depart for Norway on Tuesday before the tournament opener on Thursday morning when Pat Scully’s side face the hosts.
Ireland will be hoping to go one step further than twelve months ago when they were beaten finalists but their participation in this year’s edition was in doubt because League of Ireland clubs signed and awarded contracts to players earlier than usual during the close season.
Speaking ahead of their departure, 42-year-old Scully feels the tournament is of great benefit to both players and coaching staff alike.
“I’m really looking forward to the tournament. The preparations have been good, we’ve been training since the end of November and played two games. This is a great experience for both the players and staff, and we’re all looking forward to kicking off the event on Thursday morning.”
The squad which includes former Bohemians defender Mark Rossiter and ex-Cork City striker Tadhg Purcell, lost to Malahide United in their first warm-up game before beating Glebe North 1-0.
The one-day tournament has proved extremely beneficial to the Irish team in the past with Daryl Kavanagh awarded the Most Valuable Player award in 2010 while five members of the 2011 team featured in last year’s FAI Cup Final.
The annual tournament has been running since 2005 to help footballers without a contract find a new professional club with organisers FIFPro inviting clubs, scouts and technical directors to watch the games.
GOALKEEPERS: Craig Hyland , Charlie Treacy
DEFENDERS: Niall O’Reilly, Stephen Maher, Stephen Paisley, Mark Rossiter, Shane Tracy, Liam Burns
MIDFIELDERS: David O’Leary, Craig Walsh, Barry O’Mahony, Peter McMahon, Peter Higgins, Danny Joyce, Dean Marshall
FORWARDS: Tadhg Purcell, Stephen O’Flynn, Mark Leech
Ireland v Norway 10.30am
Finland v Sweden 12.00pm
3rd place 2.30pm