Celtic starlet Barry Coffey knocked out of Under-19 Euros with Ireland
It was a great day for many Celts yesterday, but not for Barry Coffey after Ireland were knocked out of the under-19 Euros by Portugal.
The first-team may have brutalised Nomme Kalju at Celtic Park later on in the evening. Before that, however, Ireland took to their European Championship semi-final contest against the Portuguese. Ireland came into the match having won one of their three group stage matches to progress into the semi-finals.
Unfortunately for Coffey and co, however, it all ended on a sour note as Portugal mauled Ireland 4-0. A second-half hat-trick by Goncalo Ramos effectively won the game after Portugal were only 1-0 ahead at the break.
For Coffey personally, he was given his first starting role of the tournament. It was Coffey himself who earned Ireland this contest with his winner against the Czech Republic just days ago.
But this was only his first start of the tournament after coming on against the Czechs and France. Coffey lasted 67 minutes before coming off for Conor Grant. The game was effectively over at that stage, with Coffey not able to effect yesterday’s game the way he did against the Czechs.
A terrific under-19 Euros for Coffey and Ireland
It may have been a disappointing end to the campaign, but it was a fine overall tournament for the Irish boys. Coffey managed to make three appearances in four games, whilst Ireland only lost two out of their four matches against some top young international opposition.
For Coffey especially, the tournament was a successful experience. He’s looked comfortable in the midfield for Ireland, and showed composure and maturity in his three outings.
He’ll always have his sublime winner against the Czech Republic to look back on with pride. It was THE moment of the tournament for Ireland, and Coffey will likely always cherish it.
He’ll come back and continue his development in Celtic’s youth ranks. But his performances throughout the Euros will surely have caught the eye of Neil Lennon. If the midfielder is lucky, he could be lined up for a debut at some point down the line this season.
But Celtic have never been a club to rush players through. Coffey’s Euro performances have boosted his profile, but Celtic certainly won’t be getting carried away by it.
It’s just a shame that Ireland’s journey had to end in such brutalising fashion to the Portuguese. The final of the competition will take place on Saturday evening with Portugal taking on Spain.