Football: Kerr praises his heroes

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The Republic of Ireland's Under-20 team manager, Brian Kerr, has admitted his team have surprised him by reaching the semi-finals of the World Youth Championship in Malaysia.

"I would have been happy just to qualify for the second phase," Kerr said as his squad celebrated Sunday's 1-0 quarter-final win over Spain. "Now we are in the semi-finals - and who knows what can happen?"

Ireland now face the holders Argentina, 2-0 quarter-final conquerors of Brazil, today in Kuching, and Ghana - the only team so far to have beaten Ireland in the competition - play Uruguay in the other semi.

"I don't think people appreciate the amount of skill that's in this side," Kerr added. "But perhaps more people will get the message now that more of our matches will be seen on television." The Irish supporters back home will get their first chance to see their young heroes in action live when their semi-final is broadcast at 9.30am today.

Kerr will not name his team to face the holders until just before kick- off.