2009 Review – Republic of Ireland U17
They earned the right by winning the first qualification series in September when they won Group 6 in Bulgaria. The other contestants were Sweden, Latvia and Bulgaria.
Ireland completed the round robin series in Bulgaria by beating Latvia and Bulgaria and drawing with Sweden. They accumulated seven points, ahead of Sweden on five, Bulgaria on four and Latvia finished without a point.
The under-age UEFA Championships always follow the same pattern. The finals tournament is contested by eight teams - the host nation and seven qualifiers.
The finals of the 2010 Championship will be played in Liechtenstein next May. The teams chasing qualification were divided into groups of four for the first qualifying round with two teams from each group advancing to the second elite phase.
Ireland's successful first qualifying series saw them into the draw for the second round where they were drawn alongside Austria, Finland and Greece. The teams will play a round robin series in Greece from March 19 - 24 March next and only the winners will advance to the finals.
It goes without saying that Ireland face a major challenge but one the squad will face with the confidence after a successful year during which they played eight matches.
Manager Sean McCaffrey helped the squad prepare for their qualification series by playing two friendly matches against Poland in Dublin in April. The honours were shared as McCaffrey used all of the players in his squad over the two matches.
Ireland travelled to Poland in September to compete with seven other national teams in the Syrenka International Cup.
They lost narrowly to Russia and Sweden before defeating Romania in their third and final match. Their win was achieved on a 4-2 scoreline but the 1-2 loss to Sweden was probably of more value.
Ireland faced Sweden again in Bulgaria in September in the UEFA Championship. They were full value for the point they gained in a scoreless draw ensured that they finished in first place ahead of Sweden in the final qualification table.
Republic of Ireland U17 Squad
21/04/'09: Republic of Ireland U17 1 - 3 Poland U17 at United Park, Drogheda
Robbie Benson 76 Golla 14
23/04/'09: Republic of Ireland U17 4 - 2 Poland U17 at Tallaght Stadium
John Egan 44 Patryk Schikowski 21
Anthony O'Connor 47 Dominik Lenart 48
Paul Whyte 60
an Brosnan 80
Syrenka International Cup in Poland
01/09/'09: Russia U17 2 - 1 Republic of Ireland U17
Frank Sutherland 12
02/09/'09: Sweden U17 2 - 1 Republic of Ireland U17
Robin Tranberg Aidan O'Brien
04/09/'09: Republic of Ireland U17 4 - 1 Romania U17
Shane Byrne 10 Negrut 56
Graham Burke 22
Daniel Purdy 62
Anton Rogers 79
UEFA U17 Championship 2009/2010,
Group 6 in Albena, Bulgaria
27/09/'09: Bulgaria U17 1 - 2 Republic of Ireland U17
Nedelev 80 Frank Sutherland 37
Daniel Purdy 80 + 3
29/09/'09: Republic of Ireland U17 1 - 0 Latvia U17
Aidan O'Brien 80
02/10/'09: Republic of Ireland U17 0 - 0 Sweden U17
Final placings: 1 - Ireland 7 pts,
2 - Sweden 5,
3 - Bulgaria 4,
4 - Latvia 0.
UEFA U17 Championship 2009/2010
Second elite Qualifying phase
Republic of Ireland
The teams will play a round robin series in Greece from March 19 - 24, 2010 with the winners only qualifying for the finals in Liechtenstein, May 18-30, 2010.