O’Brien and Sheridan set for World Championships

By Stephen Leonard

DYLAN O’Brien from Lucan and Ballyfermot’s Dillon Sheridan will be part of the Ireland Senior CP squad that contests the IFCPF World Championships in Argentina later this month.

Paul Breen’s side have been drawn in Group A for the competition which will see them face off against Spain, Canada and Brazil in the hope of finishing among the top two and progressing through to the quarter finals.

Ire Cp team collage 02092017

While Sheridan is an experienced campaigner at senior international level, this will be O’Brien’s first time to travel with the squad and the Lucan United defender is looking forward to the experience.

“It’s my first time to be named in the senior squad” said the 19-year-old right back.

“I had been brought in to the set-up a few years before through Stephen Rice and Derek Kavanagh with the Development team.

“I was over the moon when I got the call for these World Championships.

“It’s going to be tough, but I feel this team can make it through to the quarter finals.

“We’ve got some very experienced players like Dillon Sheridan and Gary Messett who have been around for a while now.

“The team is really starting to gel. We trained together once a month from March up to August and then trained every Sunday throughout August. We also had a training camp at the end of July” he told Echo.ie.

For Sheridan, meanwhile, this will be his fifth major international championship, having lined out with Ireland in Paralympic, World and European Championship competition.

Indeed he helped Ireland to a fourth place finish in the 2014 European Championships in Portugal where they narrowly missed out on a place in the final after losing to the Netherlands in the semi finals.

While they face another tough campaign, the experienced Palmerstown FC player believes they can go far in Argentina.

“I definitely think we’re good enough to get out of the group” he insisted.

“We’ve been stepping it up in training and looking really sharp. The couple of new faces we have have freshened it up so we’re looking good.

“We’ll be looking to get wins against Spain and Canada. Brazil will be very tough. We were on the end of a hammering against them in the Paralympics last year” he recalled.

Ireland kick off their campaign against Spain on Sunday, September 10 before they take on Canada two days later and then Brazil on Thursday September 14. 

Looking ahead to the challenge, Breen said "We have prepared well for the tournament and we are really looking forward now to getting there and putting all the hard work that the staff and players have been doing into action. 

"Although it is a tough group we are in, our first objective is to get out of the group and into the quarter finals and I know the players are relishing the challenge.

“I’ve been happy with the progress that the players have made over the last few months in training. 

"Tournament football is tough for any player, but particularly so for CP players. With a game almost every second day the use of the squad and recovery will be very important for us” he pointed out.

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