Ireland Under-19s Men's squad head to Spain for World Cup Qualifier
Final preparations have been completed and Ireland’s Under-19s men’s side is set to fly to Spain tomorrow to compete in the ICC Under-19s Men’s World Cup Qualifier Europe – with a place at the 2022 Under-19s World Cup in the West Indies on the line.
The squad was recently announced and has trained together at Cricket Ireland’s High Performance Centre over the last few days, but captain Tim Tector knows that there is little room for a slip up in a tightly packed Qualifier that Ireland is likely the favourite to progress from.
Tector is – following in the footsteps of older brothers Jack and Harry – the third sibling in his family to captain the Ireland Under-19s side, and this will be his second Under-19s qualifying campaign. At the age of 16 he was part of the unsuccessful campaign two years ago, and is determined to go one step better on this occasion.
Speaking after training, Tim Tector said:
“It's certainly a very proud moment for me. It's an honour to represent your country at any level, but to captain is a privilege, and it's a role I'm looking forward to taking on in the coming weeks.”
“It has been a pretty on-and-off year for us - over the winter we couldn't train at all with the restrictions in place, but the new Cricket Ireland Future Series was a great way to prepare over the summer. We played a lot of games where we got to look at a range of different players, which has helped us. Some of the guys in the squad have not played many high-level games before, and that's why it was important to get these high-level [Future Series] games in during the summer. It was a great opportunity to try out new players to help us prepare for the World Cup qualifiers coming up.”
“It was disappointing for us last qualifying campaign over in the Netherlands to lose to Scotland in the final game. I think tournament cricket is a different kind of cricket than what we are used to, with big games day-after-day - the mental fatigue comes in, so this time we have been about preparing the guys for these scenarios. But we are really excited to go now, and we are up for it.”
The Under-19s squad will be led by Head Coach – and former Irish international - Ryan Eagleson. He said:
“The last 12-18 months has been extremely tough, but hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel. We're heading down to Spain with a full quarter of games in during the summer - we played the Under-19s side in the Future Series and had some good competition in there. I'm delighted to get the squad together this last week, and hopefully we can go with a lot of confidence from the games we have had in the summer.”
“The Qualifier is going to be tricky the tournament is quite condensed, it’s seven days or so and the games come thick and fast. I have said to the guys they cannot have a bad five-over and ten-over spell in games, as it could end your hopes of qualification and even playing in the final. It's a real high-pressure environment, but I think as Under-19 cricketers, that's what you want. My job is to help develop and coach players who hope to go and play for the senior set-up at some stage in their careers, and that's about how you deal with high-pressure environments. We have got Netherlands first up and we know that's a tough game, but we have got to hit the ground running.”
“I sometimes look back at how many players I have worked with and have gone on to play for the senior side - in the current side there are a fair few who have come through the Under-19s and Under-17s ranks. As a youth coach and pathway coach I think that's your biggest job, to get these guys ready for possible future international careers, and experienced in high-pressure environments on the international stage competing with the best teams in the world.”
“We talk about pressure, but it's also important to talk about preparation - like your nutrition and your sleep, especially as the conditions are going to be very hot down in Spain. You have to take it ball-by-ball over-by-over, but if the guys can go down there and express themselves, hopefully we’ll book ourselves on flights to the West Indies next year.”
Last year Clear Currency became the main sponsor for under-age national teams in Ireland, including the Under-19s Men’s squad (see story). Paul Reilly, Chief Commercial Officer for Clear Currency, visited the squad at a recent training session to wish them well at the Qualifier (photo attached). He said:
“On behalf of myself and my colleagues we would like to wish Ryan, Tim and all the rest of the squad the best of luck in Spain in the coming week. It's great to see some international cricket finally resuming for the under-age teams.”
The ICC Men’s Under-19s European World Cup Qualifier will feature Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands and Jersey competing for one World Cup spot.
The schedule for Ireland is:
- 19 September: Ireland v Netherlands (Group Stage)
- 20 September: Rest day
- 22 September: Ireland v Jersey (Group Stage)
- 23 September: Ireland v Scotland (Group Stage)
- 24 September: Rest day
- 25 September: Final (1st Place v 2nd Place)
The winner of the final goes directly to the ICC Under-19s World Cup in 2022.
Ireland’s U19 Men’s squad:
Tim Tector (captain) (YMCA), Diarmuid Burke (Malahide), Joshua Cox (Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch), Jack Dickson (Instonians), Liam Doherty (St Andrew’s School. Bloemfontein), Cameron Doak (Lisburn), Jamie Forbes (YMCA), Matthew Humphreys (Lisburn), Philippe le Roux (Railway Union), Scott Macbeth (St Johnston), Nathan McGuire (Rush), Muzamil Sherzad (North Kildare), David Vincent (Clontarf), Luke Whelan (North County).
Daniel Forkin (Merrion), Ryan Hunter (CSNI), Robbie Millar (Eglinton), Ewan Wilson (Muckamore).