Crawford hopeful of good turn out for Under 21’s opener in Tallaght

REPUBLIC of Ireland Under 21 Assistant Coach Jim Crawford is confident they boast the calibre of players necessary to ensure a winning start to their UEFA Under 21 European Championship qualifying campaign.

Stephen Kenny’s side bring the curtain up on their bid for top spot in Group One when they play host to Luxembourg in Tallaght on Sunday and Crawford is hopeful of a big turnout for the match which will see some of the country’s top up and coming players in action.

Jim Crawford Ireland U21s

Ireland U21 Assistant Coach Jim Crawford is hoping for strong support in Tallaght Stadium on Sunday.

“We’ve got players who are playing with big clubs abroad and we have eight home-based players” he told The Echo.

“All of them are talented players and the challenge for us is picking the best team that can break Luxembourg down and score goals.

“The players are getting to know each other and the staff are getting to know the players, but there’s a real positive vibe and everyone is looking forward to Sunday so hopefully we get a good turn out.

“I worked in Tallaght for 12 years and I know the people there love their sport. You only have to turn on the lights in Tallaght [Stadium] and people will come because sport is in the blood of people in South Dublin.

“We have people there working hard to promote the game so we’ll be expecting a decent crowd and I’m sure they’ll be impressed by what they see.

“We have some exciting players and this is a great opportunity for the fans to see them in action.

“We’ve had a good look at Luxembourg. They have 12 players with Under 21 experience from last year so they’ll be no mugs.

“They have a decent Under 19 group with the better players from there coming through so it will be a stern test, but we have real belief in this team that they can get the points.

“They [Luxembourg] are the sixth seeds in the group and we have to be going out looking for the win” he said.

Shamrock Rovers’’ Brandon Kavanagh received a late call-up to the squad to replace the injured Simon Power and so he joins Hoops clubmate Trevor Clarke in the set-up.

Another of the Rovers contingent Jack Byrne has been called into the Ireland senior panel.

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