Tom Mohan’s squad will face Czech Republic, France & Norway
The countdown to the UEFA European Under-19 Championships gathered momentum on Friday after the official draw for the finals tournament in Armenia was made.
The Republic of Ireland – who were the only team to qualify having won each of their six games – were paired with Czech Republic, France, and Norway in Group B. While in Group A, hosts Armenia were joined by Italy, Portugal, and Spain.
The tournament will run from July 14-27 and it will be Mohan’s second experience of UEFA competition having previously guided the Ireland Under-17s to the finals in Bulgaria in 2015.
“We are delighted to be one of the final eight teams in this tournament. There will be no easy games at the finals and we know that a big challenge is ahead of us, but it’s one that we are excited by,” said Mohan.
“I’ve seen Norway play in a tournament in Spain recently and they have done really well – they qualified for the Under-20 World Cup. Then you have Czech Republic who were in a group with a very good England team, while France are always strong at this level.
“We will go into greater depth with our analysis of the teams over the coming weeks and we will have all of our homework done. But we have proved that we have a right to be here and it’s up to us to make the most of it when the games come around.
“I had a chance to see the facilities and team hotel in Armenia, so that was good. From right now, though, we have to adopt a new mindset and focus on our preparations.”
When Ireland were last involved in this tournament – in 2011 – they reached the semi-finals and four members of Paul Doolin’s squad went on to earn senior caps, while two more have earned call-ups.
In qualifying for this year’s finals, Troy Parrott was joint third top scorer with four goals, which included a hat-trick against Bosnia & Herzegovina in the Qualifying Round.
Mohan will get his squad together for a three-day training camp in late June before selecting his final panel to travel to Armenia.
2019 UEFA European Under-19 Championships – Group B
July 15: Republic of Ireland v Norway
July 18: Republic of Ireland v France
July 21: Republic of Ireland v Czech Republic