The IAFA International squad travel to southern Poland next weekend to compete in an International tournament against hosts Poland, Ukraine and the Netherlands. The tournament which will take place over two days, June 6th and 7th, promises to be a cracking weekend of football with Ireland set to renew rivalries with opponents they have met on numerous occasions previously.
The IAFA began their competitive International journey against Poland in England in 2012. They met the Poles again later that year in Warsaw and in 2013 faced them in the semi-finals of the Paddy Power Cup in Limerick. Ireland have never beaten Poland, who finished 4th at last year's Amputee Football World Cup in Mexico, but are eager to change that statistic next weekend. Ireland play Poland in the opening game of the tournament at 9.30 Irish time.
Ireland play Ukraine at 16.00 later that day. These sides first met in Poland in 2012 when the Eastern Europeans won comfortably, however, Ireland have narrowed the gap in recent times. Both nations were drawn in the same group at last year's World Cup. Although Ukraine edged an incredibly close encounter neither side made it through to the knock-out stages. They played a second time in Mexico, in the Copa Culiacan, with Ukraine emerging victorious again and securing a World ranking of 17th, just one place ahead of Ireland. Ireland v. Ukraine promises to be the most tightly contested and compelling tie of next weekend's tournament.
Ireland finish the tournament against the Netherlands, one of the International sides that travelled to Limerick in 2013 to contest the Paddy Power Cup. The two teams met in the group stages of that competition with Ireland winning 2-0 thanks to a brace from James Boyle. The IAFA will aim to maintain their 100% record over the Dutch next weekend but will be well aware of the threat posed by the traditionally strong Oranje. Ireland kick off against the Netherlands at 15.30 on Sunday June 7th.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates and results from next weekend's tournament in Poland.
Come on you Amps in Green!!