Derby County’s Jeff Hendrick has been named in the Republic of Ireland squad for the UEFA Under-19 Championships 2011 in Romania.
The Derby midfielder has been named in Ireland’s 18-man squad for the tournament, which will run from Wednesday 20th July 2011 to Monday 1st August 2011.
Ireland under-19 manager Paul Doolin and his squad will prepare for the prestige tournament by visiting a training camp in Rome from 10th July to 17th July.
As a result, Hendrick will miss the majority of Derby’s pre-season campaign ahead of the 2011/12 season but Rams boss Nigel Clough believes the experience will benefit his player.
“Jeff showed huge strides of progression last season and he is a player who we view as big part of our future plans,” Clough told the Club Website.
He added: “We would have loved to have had him involved with us during pre-season, but this is too good an opportunity for him to miss out on.”
“He was involved in Ireland’s qualification campaign and he deserves the chance to go and play in the finals.”
“Being involved in the tournament means he will keep fit and be playing games, so when he does return he will be back involved with the squad.”
The Irish squad also includes Kane Ferdinand (Southend Utd), Sean Murray (Watford) and Declan Walker (Wrexham) and team boss Doolin admitted it was tough to pick his 18-man squad.
“Picking just 18 players for this squad for the UEFA Championship finals has been an incredibly difficult task but I believe that the players selected are here on merit and our main priority must now be our opening game against Greece on July 20,” said Doolin.
Ireland will kick their campaign off against Greece on Wednesday 20th July, followed by a clash with the Czech Republic on Saturday 23rd July and the final match in their group will be against hosts Romania on Tuesday 26th July.
The top two teams from Ireland’s group will advance to meet the top two teams from group B in knock-out semi-finals on Friday 29th July, and the prize for the winners will be a place in the final on Monday 1st August.
Group B will be contested by Spain, Turkey, Serbia and Belgium.