Dobbs and Wall on U-19 duty in Spain
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.