Daragh Ellison in action for Finn Harps U-17s. Photo: Stephen Doherty.
Donegal teenager Daragh Ellison will be forced to miss this weekend’s FAI Schools U-18 Interprovincial Tournament - but for a genuinely good reason.
The young Letterkenny man will travel to England for a trial with Premiership outfit Stoke City.
The 16-year-old, who plays with Finn Harps U-17s, has already been over with Stoke and recently played in a match against a Swansea City team which featured another Donegal man, Marc Walsh.
This weekend, Ellison, who can play at left back or in the centre of defence, will spend another few days with Stoke. He therefore misses out as Ulster bid to retain their interprovincials crown in Dublin.
Ulster open their tournament against Connacht at 4pm on Friday. Then Leinster will face Munster at 5.30pm with all games taking place in the AUL Complex, Clonshaugh.
The Ulster squad is managed by Paul Browne and David O’Herlihy (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny). It’s a strong squad, with plenty of experience, and hopes are high that the team can do well again.
The Interprovincial series will be the first step in the process of selecting the FAI Schools International 18 man squad which will compete in the Centenary Shield competition. The 2017/18 campaign will see the Irish away to Wales and England in their opening fixtures and home to their counterparts Northern Ireland and Scotland.
William O’Connor, who is part of the backroom team at Finn Harps, has taken over as Head Coach from Paddy O’Reilly (Trinity Comprehensive School, Ballymun) who steps down from the position following five years in the management fold. O’Connor will be assisted by Coach John McShane (Dublin Oak Academy, Bray), GK Coach Conor Foley (Athlone Community College) and Performance Analyst Ollie Horgan (St. Eunan’s College).
Following the tournament on Sunday evening, a training squad will be selected by the Irish Schools’ management team with their first session scheduled for Saturday, November 25 in Abbotstown. The final squad will be announced after Christmas for the first International fixture on February 15 away to Wales.
In keeping with the long-standing tradition of maintaining the interest in the competition until the final matches on Sunday, the draw for Saturday’s and Sunday’s matches will be made following the games on Friday evening.
Ulster: Daniel Houghton & Fionn McClure (Carndonagh Community School), Corrie-Lee Bogan (St. Columba’s College, Stranorlar), Scott Prendergast, Seosamh Sheerin & Josh Hannon (Virginia College), Ethan Harkin (Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair), James Carolan, Michael Gallagher & Connor O’Reilly (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Adam O’Connor (St. Clare’s College, Ballyjamesduff), Liam Murray (Patrician High School, Carrickmacross), Ethan Coll (Deele College, Raphoe), Stephen Doherty (Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana), Mark McAteer (Mulroy College, Milford), Aaron Mulligan(Ballybay Community College)
Management | Paul Browne & David O’Herlihy (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny)