Ireland U21 to begin campaign against Luxembourg
Ireland were drawn in Group One alongside Italy, Sweden, Iceland, Armenia and Luxembourg at the draw this morning in Nyon, Switzerland.
Ireland U21 manager Stephen Kenny will manage his first qualifying match on Sunday, March 24 at home to Luxembourg.
Armenia will travel to Ireland on Friday, September 6 before Ireland travel to Sweden on Tuesday, September 10. In October, Ireland welcome Italy on Thursday, October 10 before a trip to Iceland on Tuesday, October 15.
Ireland face their longest trip of the campaign on Thursday, November 14 to Armenia before a home game against Sweden on Tuesday, November 19. In 2020, Iceland travel to Ireland on Thursday, March 26 before a trip to Luxembourg on Tuesday, March 31.
The campaign will end in Italy on Tuesday, October 13 with manager Stephen Kenny set to manage nine out of the 10 matches in the campaign before moving into the senior role.
"There are a number of teams in our group with great pedigree. Italy got to the U19 European Championship finals recently so to test ourselves against these teams is going to be a great experience," U21 manager Stephen Kenny said.
"With the two hosts qualifying automatically, there are only two play-off spots for qualification which in reality means we've got to finish top to qualify. For us to do that, we'll have to achieve something extraordinary.
"It's great to start the campaign in March at home and four home games next year for us which is exciting for the players. We won't have much preparation time before the first game but that is the challenge and I'm really looking forward to it.
"I need to go out and see all of the players across Ireland, England and Scotland to see which players are in form and who could come into the squad for March. The work starts straight away."
UEFA U21 2021 European Championships qualifying - Group One Fixture Schedule
March 24: Luxembourg (H)
September 6: Armenia (H)
September 10: Sweden (a)
October 10: Italy (H)
October 15: Iceland (a)
November 14: Armenia (a)
November 19: Sweden (H)
March 26: Iceland (H)
March 31: Luxembourg (a)
October 13: Italy (a)