James Boyle from Dungloe has been in excellent form in Poland
A 2-0 defeat against Russia doesn’t mean no knockout place for the Irish Amputee International team at the EAFF European Championship in Krakow, Poland, as their qualification was already assured beforehand.
James Boyle from Dungloe played a starring role for the Boys in Green in Group C. On Monday, Boyle netted a hat-trick in an 8-0 win over Belgium. The clash with the Germans on Tuesday was a more tense affair, with Ireland eventually prevailing 2-1 to book a quarter-final place with Boyle scoring the winner. Russia, for their part, won their opening two matches 7-0.
Former League of Ireland winner and amputee Christy McElligott is managing the Irish side who finished sixth at the inaugural Euros in Istanbul in 2017, which was won by hosts Turkey. Ireland now play the winners of Turkey, following their 11-0 win over Italy, in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Striker Boyle plays for Cork City - on loan from Bohemians - has seen huge progress in the amputee game in Ireland over the past 10 years.
"I've been involved since the very start in 2011 and the first training session was in Mountview, Blanchardstown and I have been with the team ever since,” he said before making his way to Poland.
"As an organisation we have progressed over the years and in terms of playing, technically and ability wise, some of the players have gotten a lot better over the past couple of years."
Boyle is living a lifelong dream and hopes the side can do well in these finals. He added: "There is a photo back home of me in an Ireland jersey on crutches at six years of age and every lad dreams of playing for his country no matter what age group or what level it is. Hopefully we can do the country proud."
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