Youth Team Forward Helps National Team Progress
Rowan Roache started all three games for the Republic of Ireland to help his national team advance from the group stages of the European Under-17s Championships.
Colin O’Brien’s side came into the competition on the back of a six-game winning run, which ended with a tight 1-0 loss to Serbia in their first match of the tournament.
Roache was influential as they bounced back against Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the 17-year-old opening the scoring in the 7th minute in the 2-1 win.
It came down to the final match of the group stages to decide who would finish second in the group and qualify to the quarter-finals.
Despite being outclassed 7-0 by Germany, the luck of the Irish was with them as Serbia also lost which meant that Ireland qualified in second place due to the head-to-head rule.
“It doesn't get much better than scoring for your country. I was buzzing to score, especially so early in the game, and to help us get the three points which was the main thing,” Roache said.
“My experience so far of the Euros has been a little bit crazy. We had a disappointment in the first game but we picked ourselves up and picked up a huge three points against Bosnia and Herzegovina but we let ourselves down massively against Germany but we are through.
“That's the main thing and we have been given a second chance and we have to take it.”
Ireland don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves as their quarter-final match against England is on Saturday.
“After losing like that there is nothing better than a game in the next few days so we can put it behind us. We all can't wait for the game and we will do our best to win the game.
“I’ve learnt that sometimes in games you just have to stick in there and dig deep as a team.
“Every single thing counts in the tournament and you have to remember that. I've gained loads of experience from this tournament already and I'm looking to gain even more.”
The striker’s international involvement meant that he missed the final game of the youth team’s season as they clinched the league title.
“It was hard to see all the boys celebrating after winning the league but it's been a great season for me and I'm doing good things with my country and I have to focus on the positives of why I can't be there.”