Luton defender helps Ireland U19s into Elite Round

Hatters full back Jack James
Hatters full back Jack James

Luton right back Jack James played twice as the Republic of Ireland U19s reached the Elite Round of the UEFA U19 Championship with two wins last week.

The teenager started both matches against Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Faroe Islands to ensure they came through the qualifying round with a game to spare.

On Saturday, three second-half goals from striker Troy Parrott ensured the Faroes were beaten 3-0 at City Calling Stadium, Longford.

Despite having the majority of the chances, it took Ireland until the final 25 minutes of the game to break through a resolute opposition defence as Parrott netted a penalty on 66 minutes.

James then went off moments later, while Parrott doubled the lead with 14 minutes to go, completing his treble in stoppage time.

The Town youngster had played 90 minutes in the 3-1 win against Bosnia in Longford last week.

The visitors started the brighter, but it was Ireland who had the best chances in an entertaining opening period.

It remained goalless until early in the second period as Will Ferry broke the deadlock, before James played a huge role in the second goal, fouled in the box for a penalty that Parrott converted.

Adam Idah made it 3-0 in the 74th minute, coolly slotting home, as Mateo Bozic pulled one back late on.

The Irish take on Netherlands this afternoon, knowing a win will see them qualify as group winners, with their opponents just needing a draw to finish top.

Head coach Tom Mohan said: “We want to win the group. We want to be as highly seeded as possible. That's the challenge now for the players. We're treating this as an Elite Phase game, against Elite Phase opponents.

“Spirits are high in the camp ahead of the game. It's a brilliant reward for the players to have qualified for the Elite Round with a game to spare."