Ireland to open International Challenge Trophy against England

Ireland to open International Challenge Trophy against England

The Republic of Ireland U23 team will play England and Estonia next year in the International Challenge Trophy as a result of the draw that was made in Dublin on 28/08/'09.
28th Aug 2009

 

The Republic of Ireland U23 team will play England and Estonia next year in the International Challenge Trophy as a result of the draw that was made in Dublin on 28/08/'09.

The Irish team, which will consist entirely of League of Ireland players under the age of 23, will begin their campaign in spring 2010 with a home fixture against England. Fixture dates and venues will be confirmed over the coming weeks.

Ireland were drawn in Group B in the International Challenge Trophy and will need to secure a top two finish in order to qualify for the semi finals of the tournament. The complete draw is as follows:

Group A: Italy, Belgium, Malta, Romania.

Group B: England, Republic of Ireland, Estonia

Group C: Portugal, Poland, Wales, Northern Ireland.

 

The Republic of Ireland's participation in the International Challenge Trophy is an important aspect of the FAI's commitment to promoting and developing the League of Ireland. While tournament rules allow squads to be picked from players based outside the domestic league, the FAI has opted to select only players based in the League of Ireland in order to give young players in the league added experience and exposure.

At the meeting of participating Football Associations in Dublin today, the FAI's Pat Duffy was elected Chairman of the International Challenge Trophy. Archimede Pitrolo of the Italian Football Association was elected as Vice-Chair of the tournament.