Jonny Bonner and Georgie Kelly have been included in the Irish Colleges & Universities International squad for a friendly against the 2017 Universiade Silver Medallists, France, at the City Calling Stadium in Longford on Tuesday afternoon.
Alain Flavigny’s French side travel to face the Irish Third Level side having been beaten 1-0 by Japan in the Universiade Final in Chinese Taipei last August. Both sides faced each other in Xinzhuang Stadium, New Taipei City in the opening game of Pool A in a 0-0 draw.
Greg Yelverton’s Irish side remain unbeaten in 2018 with victories over Scotland (1-0) and the Irish Defence Forces (5-0) on their record. The Cork native makes seven changes to his squad that dismantled the Defence Forces in April.
Buncrana man Bonner is with Crusaders in the Irish League while Kelly, from Tooban, is the top goalscorer in the League of Ireland First Division with UCD.
Speaking ahead of the game, Yelverton said; “We have never had it easy against France. They are a well organised side and pose plenty of threats to us. This is the type of challenge that our players should be hungry for. Scotland and the Defence Forces posed different kind of challenge which we counteracted with our game plan. We will require a lot more focus and discipline to handle France.
“However, despite all of that, France will have to fear us also. We have different types of players that will cause France problems. Georgie Kelly has proved in the last 18 months that he is growing into one of the top number nines in the SSE Airtricity League. Shane Daly-Butz was the standout for the Republic of Ireland Amateurs in their recent game also.
“We have good young talent in this squad, so hopefully they can go out and express that against France. They may be the second best team in the world right now but we certainly possess the talent to trouble them.”