PREVIEW | Republic of Ireland vs England

SAFIB hummel Centenary Shield | Under 18 Boys’ International


Sunday, March 19, 2023


Ireland entertain England in Athlone


The Republic of Ireland Schools have their penultimate outing of the 2023 SAFIB hummel Centenary Shield when they take on England in Athlone Town AFC on Friday evening (KO 7.0)


The Irish scholars had a disappointing start to their campaign thus far as they were held to a goalless draw away to Scotland in the opening night. This was followed up by 3-4 defeat to Wales in Wexford nearly a fortnight ago. Ireland will rue their missed opportunities in that contest especially an Aidan Russell Vargas goal that was chalked off for off-side late on.


John McShane’s team will be looking to put those setbacks behind them and cement a win in the Midlands venue at the end of the week.


This is the twenty year anniversary of the Republic of Ireland’s involvement in the Centenary Shield. The COVID-19 pandemic curtailed the 2020 and 2021 outings so these two sides have met on 18 previous occasions; Ireland winning 6, drawing 7 and losing 5.


In 2022, the sides played out a one all draw in Eastleigh FC with Bailey Hall cancelling out Lennon Gill’s earlier effort on the stroke of half-time. Previous to that, England enjoyed a two nil victory in Dalymount Park in 2019.  The brace courtesy of Isaac Sinclair and Connor Taylor.


Friday’s game is a must win for John McShane’s side if they’ve any ambitions of claiming a stake on the Shield title this season having come so close twelve months previous.


England on the other hand will be opening their account on Friday evening on Match Day 5. They will then play Scotland away, a week later while they enjoy the final two games at home. They will host Northern Ireland on April 14 and the series will conclude on April 28 when England play reigning Champions Wales.


John McShane has made one change to the squad that lost to Wales as Ronan MANSFIELD (Blackwater Community School) misses out. Rhys KELLY NOONAN (Coláiste Muire, Crosshaven) is recalled to the team having featured against Australia as well as being on the bench for the opening game against Scotland.


Following the England game, the Republic of Ireland will conclude their series with a short trip to Belfast to take on Northern Ireland on Thursday, March 30.


The Republic of Ireland vs England match will be streamed live via Recast on for £3 (300 credits required to view full game).


REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SCHOOLS | Ryan DELANEY (St. Francis College, Rochestown), Jonathan ADEDEJI (St. Mary’s Secondary School, Edenderry), Jesse DEMPSEY (Wexford CBS), Eli ROONEY (Summerhill College, Sligo), Niall HOLAHAN (Carrick on Shannon Community School), Senan MULLEN (St. Aidan’s Comprehensive School, Cootehill), Callum BONNER (St. Patrick’s Classical School, Navan), Arran HEALY (Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig), Peter GROGAN (St. Mary’s CBS, Carlow), Aidan RUSSELL VARGAS (Lusk Community College), Brian CUNNINGHAM (Presentation College, Headford), Stephen MOHAN (Clonkeen College, Blackrock), Ryan McBREARTY (St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda), Daithí FOLAN (Belvedere College, Dublin), Rhys KELLY NOONAN (Coláiste Muire, Crosshaven), Adam O’HALLARON (Clarin College, Athenry)


MANAGEMENT | John McSHANE, Head Coach (Loreto Secondary School, Bray), Derek O’BRIEN, Coach (Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore) Ollie HORGAN, Coach (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Conor FOLEY, GK Coach (Athlone Community College), Martin CAVANAGH, Equipment Manager (Carndonagh Community School), Michael McGLYNN (Physio), Dr. Aidan O’COLMAIN (Team Doctor)


2023 SAFIB hummel Centenary Shield Results & Fixtures



Thursday, February 23    Scotland 0-0 Republic of Ireland                 Renfrew FC

Thursday, March 2           Northern Ireland 1-1 Scotland                        Blanchflower Park

Thursday, March 9          Republic of Ireland 3-4 Wales                         Ferrycarrig Park, Wexford



Thursday, March 23         Wales vs Northern Ireland                             Britton Ferry FC

Friday, March 24              Republic of Ireland vs England                     Athlone Town AFC

Thursday, March 30        Northern Ireland vs Republic of Ireland   Blanchflower Park

Friday, March 31               Scotland vs England                                         Broadwood Stadium

Thursday, April 13            Wales vs Scotland                                             Colwyn Bay FC

Friday, April 14                  England vs Northern Ireland                         Billericay Town FC

Friday, April 28                  England vs Wales                                             Hednesford Town FC

All games kick off at 7pm