McConnell capped in Holland

Ryan McConnell was part of the Republic of Ireland U-17 squad that concluded their disappointing Uefa elite stage qualifiers in Holland with a 2-1 loss to Albania.

Ryan McConnell was part of the Republic of Ireland U-17 squad that concluded their disappointing Uefa elite stage qualifiers in Holland with a 2-1 loss to Albania.

The Manchester United clubman lined up in the Irish back four in SV Venray. Albania won a penalty five minutes before the break when Ireland defender Sean Long was adjudged to have fouled and skipper Kristi Marku made no mistake.

Ireland reacted well to that set-back by equalising three minutes into the second half thanks to Jack Grealish but the Albanians regained the lead as they broke at pace and Franc Ymeralilaj applied a cool finish.

It was Ireland’s third loss of the campaign. Ramelton’s Kyle Callan-McFadden was the Irish skipper in the 1-0 loss to Serbia and the 2-1 reversal against Holland but coach John Morling left out the Norwich City defender as he rung the changes for the final game.