Munster Connaught begin the new UEFA Regions Cup campaign later today against Italian representative side and mini-tournament hosts Lombardia Regional FA in Gorgonzola at 2pm.
It will be Munster Connaught’s first competitive game as Ireland’s representatives in the Regions Cup campaign and will be aiming to emulate the Leinster Munster squad who won the tournament in Dublin last year.
Speaking to www.fai.ie, Irish manager Gerry Davis spoke of the difficulty of facing Italy, the record UEFA Regions Cup winners, in their first game but is anticipating the challenge ahead.
“The Italians have won this tournament more times than anybody else in its history. Straight away you know you’ll be in for a tough match, we’re the holders obviously and there’ll be motivation for them to put one over on us,” said Davis.
“We had them watched recently so we’ve done as much homework as we could on them. With the new set of players we have and trying to integrate them into the format very quickly, it will be a challenge for us this week. Italy will have technical, strong and aggressive players.
“It’s the toughest first game you could get but we’ve unearthed some gems for this squad. There’s a great honesty of effort from the players.”
” We trained on Sunday to loosen up after the travel then had two sessions on Monday morning and evening and trained again today. Now it’s time to wind down and turn our minds to the game.
“So far it’s been about players getting to know each other, buy into the system of play and mentality.
“Everything has been really good here. It’s warm but not too bad. Game management will be important in terms of getting water to the players, our use of subs, what tempo you play at in and out of possession. That’s something new for the lads to adjust to.”