IFCPF World Championships

Oisin Merritt named in Ireland squad for IFCPF World Championships

Stranorlar man all set for trip of a lifetime

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IFCPF World Championships

The Republic of Ireland side in a pre-match huddle.

Just three years after he survived death after a fall from a balcony in Spain, former Finn Harps player Oisin Merritt is set to play for the Republic of Ireland at the  in Argentina next month.

The Ireland Senior Cerebral Palsy squad for the IFCPF World Championships in Argentina was named on Wednesday.

And it includes former Stranorlar's Oisin Merritt. The former Harps U-19 player made national headlines in 2014 when he survived death after a fall from a balcony on a holiday in Spain left him in a coma and fighting for life.

He is part of an Irish squad which showed their quality in reaching the Paralympics in Rio last year and will head into the tournament looking to make a mark on the world stage.

Ireland are drawn in Group A with Brazil, Canada and Spain. The top two in the group progress to the quarter-finals with third and fourth going into the classification stage for places 9th to 16th. 

The Irish commence their campaign against Spain in our opening game on Sunday, September 10. They meet the Canadians two days later then play Brazil on Thursday September 14. 

"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," said Irish manager, Paul Breen. 

CP football is uniquely different to traditional 11-a-side football as it is a 7-a-side game and players have a classification based on their physical attributes which impacts on how the coaches can use them or make changes in games. 

The Irish players are selected from across the country and the majority are playing amateur football in well known leagues including  the Leinster Senior League, Munster Senior League, AUL, Donegal League, UCL, MDL, Limerick and Sligo Leitrim.

"There is a lot of excitement amongst the group ahead of this challenge and it is worth noting that there will be an Ireland team playing in a World Championships this September," added Breen. 

"We will be travelling to Argentina just as the Ireland MNT kick off their game against Serbia so hopefully when we touch down in Buenos Aires we'll be hearing a good result for Martin O'Neill and his squad."

Oisin Merritt