Both the Republic of Ireland Under-19s and Under-17s have discovered their opponents for their respective 2021-22 UEFA European Championship qualification campaigns.
In Nyon today Tom Mohan’s Republic of Ireland Under-19 side were drawn in Group 6 against Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Colin O’Brien’s Republic of Ireland Under-17s are in Group 5 of the qualifying competition with Poland, North Macedonia and Andorra.
Both the Under-19 and Under-17 sides were top seeds for the draw as they are ranked among UEFA’s top 10, with the teams 9th and 10th places respectively.
Tom Mohan’s reaction
Republic of Ireland Under-19 Head Coach Tom Mohan, said of today’s draw:
“There’s no easy games in international football. Bulgaria and Bosnia-Herzegovina have been very good at this level. Montenegro are a competitive and difficult opponent at this level too.”
Tournament hosts Slovakia qualify directly for the final tournament in summer 2022. Top seeds Portugal receive a bye to the elite round in spring 2022.
Hosts will be appointed to stage the mini-tournaments played either between 30 August and 7 September, 4 and 12 October, or 8 and 16 November 2021.
The top two in each group plus the third-placed team with the best record against the leading pair in their section progress to join Portugal in the elite round.
UEFA U-17 Qualifiers
Reacting to the Under-17 draw, Republic of Ireland Head Coach Colin O’Brien said:
“It’s great to see the draw and it gives us games to aim for in 2021. We now have an opportunity to plan for our opponents.
“The 2005 age group played Poland twice last year in Galway. They will be Under-17s by the time we play these qualifiers. I managed against Andorra last year. North Macedonia is a new challenge for us but we look forward to the challenge of the group.”
Matches will be played between 1 July and 16 November 2021, with mini-tournament dates and hosts yet to be confirmed.
The top two teams in each group will join top seeds Netherlands and Spain in the spring 2022 elite round. The four third-placed teams with the best records against the top two in their section will also enter the elite round.
Hosts Israel qualify directly for the final tournament in May 2022.