Ireland Under-19s and Under-17...


Ireland Under-19s and Under-17s discover opponents for Euro qualifiers

Phil Egan
Phil Egan

11:51 9 Dec 2020

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The Republic of Ireland Under-19 and Under-17 teams have found out their opponents for their respective 2021/22 UEFA European Championship qualification campaigns. 

Tom Mohan’s Under-19 side will take on Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, while Colin O’Brien’s Under-17s will face Poland, North Macedonia and Andorra.

Both the Under-19 and Under-17 sides were top seeds for the draw due to being ranked among UEFA's top 10 with the teams 9th and 10th respectively.

Slovakia will host the Under-19 Championship so they qualify directly for the final tournament in summer 2022.

Top seeds Portugal have been given a bye into the elite round in 2022, while hosts will be appointed to stage the mini-tournaments played either between August 30th and September 7th, October 4th and 12th or November 8th and 16th.

The top two in each group and the third-placed team with the best record against the top two in their section will qualify for the elite round in Portugal.

Speaking after the draw, Ireland Under-19 Head Coach Tom Mohan, said: "There's no easy games in international football. Bulgaria and Bosnia-Herzegovina have been very good at this level and Montenegro are a competitive and difficult opponent at this level too.

"We hope we'll all be in better place by the time the games come around with regards to COVID-19 but all we can do is focus on ourselves and our game.

"It's a difficult time for underage international football, everyone is in the same boat, but it's important we have our Underage National Leagues up and running to best prepare us."

In terms of the Under-17 Championship qualifiers, mini-tournament dates and hosts are yet to be confirmed for matches between July 1st and November 16th in 2021.

The top two teams in each group will join top seeds Netherlands and Spain in the spring 2022 elite round along with the four third-placed teams with the best records against the top two in their section.

Hosts Israel qualify directly for the final tournament in May 2022.

Ireland Under-17 Head Coach Colin O’Brien said: "It’s great to see the draw and it gives us games to aim for in 2021 and we now have an opportunity to plan for our opponents.

"The 2005 age group played Poland twice last year in Galway and will be Under-17s by the time we play these qualifiers.

"I managed against Andorra last year and North Macedonia is a new challenge for us but we look forward to the challenge of the group."

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Colin O'Brien European Under 17 Championship FAI Republic Of Ireland Tom Mohan UEFA UEFA European Under-19 Championship

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