Flashback: 1998 U-16 EUROs

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Flashback: 1998 U-16 EUROs

As part of the build-up to the 2019 UEFA European Under-17 Championships, we look back on the Republic of Ireland teams who competed in this tournament.
27th Apr 2019

1998 UEFA European Under-16 Championships

Two years on from an impressive quarter-final finish in this tournament, a new group of Ireland players felt that they could do even better - and they did.

Brian Kerr put together a fine squad that included eight future senior internationals after they had come through quaifying with a win over Belgium and a draw with Northern Ireland.

They didn't have too far to travel as the tournament was held in Scotland and Ireland played their three Group C games in Stirling, where they started with a scoreless draw with Scotland.

Confidence proved vital to the squad and they rediscovered their swagger by the second game as they overcame Finland to set up a showdown with Spain over who would finish top of the group. A 1-0 victory did it for Ireland.

Onto the knock-out stages, Ireland were still based in Stirling and still full of energy as they dispatched Denmark in a 2-0 triumph that sealed their place in the final four.

The match-up with Portugal in the semi-finals was predicted to be their toughest test yet, and it certainly wasn't easy, but two second-half goals from captain Shaun Byrne got them through to the showpiece event.

In the final, Ireland had to come up against Italy, who had won this tournament in its inaugural year and contested three other finals. There were a lot of tricolour flags in the crowd in McDiarmid Park, Perth as a lot of Irish supporters travelled over to witness Kerr's Kids be crowned champions of Europe courtesy of goals from Keith Foy and David McMahon.

It was a fantastic achievement by the players, but one that was thoroughly deserved as they executed well-drilled game plans, made the most of their talent, and used their bond to excel when the going got tough. Ireland proved that they could mix it amongst Europe's elite.

Republic of Ireland Squad
Joe Murphy (Tranmere Rovers), David Madden (Tramore Athletic), John Thompson (Home Farm), Keith Foy (Nottingham Forest), Jim Goodwin (Celtic), John O'Shea (Waterford Bohemians), Andy Reid (Nottingham Forest), Shaun Byrne (West Ham United), Brendan McGill (Rivervalley Rangers), David McMahon (Newcastle United), Liam Miller (Celtic), Graham Barrett (Arsenal), Dessie Byrne (Cherry Orchard), Jonathan Douglas (Monaghan United), David Warren (Mayfield), Brian O'Callaghan (Pike Rovers), Ian Rossiter (Galway United), Kevin Grogan (Manchester United)

Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland
Republic of Ireland 2-0 Finland
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Spain
Republic of Ireland 2-0 Denmark
Republic of Ireland 2-0 Portugal
Republic of Ireland 2-1 Italy

Secure your tickets for the 2019 UEFA European Under-17 Championships with Under-16s going FREE and adult prices only €5