Dobbs and Wall on U-19 duty in Spain

New Ross Standard - - SPORT -

THE NEW Air­tric­ity League sea­son will be start­ing with a trip to Cabin­teely on Fe­bru­ary 23, but two mem­bers of the Wex­ford F.C. squad have some in­ter­na­tional ac­tion to savour be­fore­hand.

Aaron Dobbs, the En­nis­cor­thy for­ward set for a sec­ond full sea­son on loan from Sham­rock Rovers, along with mid­fielder Owen Wall, a re­cent ac­qui­si­tion from neigh­bours Water­ford, have both been named on Tom Mo­han’s 20-strong Repub­lic of Ire­land Un­der-19 squad.

The play­ers have two games to look for­ward to this week against Ro­ma­nia in La Manga, Spain, with the first to­day (Tues­day) at 2 p.m., and the sec­ond on Thurs­day at 11 a.m.

Those friendlies will give the man­ager the op­por­tu­nity to fine-tune his prepa­ra­tions for next month’s UEFA Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship elite round games against Kosovo, Por­tu­gal and Slo­vakia, in the fi­nal stage of qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

While Dobbs strug­gled to find the net in the last cam­paign, he has looked very sharp in the pre-sea­son ac­tion to date.

Af­ter scor­ing the con­so­la­tion goal in a 4-1 away loss to Water­ford, he was on tar­get again in a 3-0 vic­tory over Bray Wan­der­ers at the Carlisle Grounds.

Dean Kelly also scored twice in that tie, al­though an in­jury to Conor Sut­ton was an un­for­tu­nate neg­a­tive from a game which saw all three goals chalked up in the first-half.

There was an­other brace for Dobbs, plus one apiece for Owen McCor­mack and last sea­son’s top scorer Thomas Croke, in a 4-2 be­hind closed doors friendly win over Sure Sports F.C. in Ab­bot­stown last week.

While the league will start in Strad­brook ver­sus Cabin­teely on Fri­day week, the draw for the EA Sports Cup has also been made and the ac­tion will get un­der way on Mon­day, March 5, when Wex­ford play host to Cobh Ram­blers at 8 p.m.

That will be three days af­ter their first home league clash with U.C.D.

Wex­ford were one of four clubs awarded First Di­vi­sion li­cences last week, along with their first three op­po­nents as out­lined above. All of the other 16 clubs were granted Pre­mier Di­vi­sion li­cences.

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