Ireland On The Cusp Of Military World Games Qualification

Ireland On The Cusp Of Military World Games Qualification

The Irish Defence Forces football team is just one game away from qualification for the CISM World Military Games, heading into their Friday showdown with France.

In a three team group, Ireland and France are locked on three points, with both sides beating Lithuania 4-0.

The Irish Defence Forces team defeated Lithuania 4-0 in the Netherlands to put themselves joint top of the group going into Friday's showdown with France in the CISM World Military Games qualifiers.

Balls spoke to the one of the team's coaches, Captain Colm Kavanagh, about their crucial decider against France this Friday, and he revealed that his side are not going to settle for a draw:

We're absolutely going out for the win. It's a decider for tomorrow, whoever wins tops the group, and if we beat France we will top European Qualifiers as well.

Confidence is very high in the camp. We're now ten games unbeaten. Prior to coming to Holland we played nine games in the lead up to it. The final game of our preparation was against a Northern Ireland Premier League team which resulted in a 0-0 draw. The boys are very confident.

The team had the advantage of watching the French play Lithuania on the Monday, and Kavanagh divulged that due to their friendship with the British Army, they've gleaned some details about the France's capabilities, with the British Army playing France recently.

They'll be quite a good team, their number six is quite good on the ball. They can play. They have two wingers who can be quite dangerous.


Kavanagh also explained how the team juggles their day to day duties with competing in competitions:

At the end of the day they are soldiers first and foremost. What we try and do is depending on how fixtures are coming up for competitions, we try to get a couple of days to get the squad together for training and put them in for competitive matches.

Indeed, the team came up against a Leinster Senior League side as well as Carlow in the build up to the qualification, both games which they won.

If Ireland do qualify from their group they are likely to be one of 16 teams, though the CISM are yet to confirm how many teams will be at the tournament next October.

FRIDAY UPDATE: The Irish team have qualified for the CISM after drawing 0-0 with France! We're off to China!

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Eoin Lyons

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