Ireland underage teams ranked among UEFA's elite
The Men’s Under-19s and Under-17s teams and the Women's Under-17s are placed in the top 10 with the Under-21s and Women's Under-19s also in Europe's top 20.
In the latest ranking calculations, Tom Mohan’s MU19s have risen two positions from 10th to eighth while Colin O’Brien’s MU17s have solidified their ninth-placed position. James Scott's WU17s made significant progress from 10th to sixth place with Dave Connell's WU19s also progressing from 18th to 17th spot.
Confirmation of Ireland’s rise at underage international level follows on from the Under-21s who have reached 19th in the UEFA rankings - an all-time highest place for Ireland at that level.
Under Mohan, Ireland MU19s reached the semi-finals of the UEFA European Under-19 Championships in 2019 where a Portugal side inspired by Gonçalo Ramos ended their excellent run to the last four.
For O’Brien, he had reached three successive UEFA European Under-17 Championship before the COVID-19 outbreak and has successfully reached every Elite Round since his appointment to Head Coach in 2016.
Scott's team earned sixth in Europe having topped their recent qualifying group ahead of Austria, Finland and Northern Ireland in Phase 1 of qualifying. It came off the back of a successful qualification Phase 1 for Connell's young Girls in Green who finished joint second in their group with Poland and were only bettered on points by France. Connell previously led the WU19s to the semi-finals of the European Championships in 2014.
Director of Football Marc Canham said: "It's excellent to see our teams ranked among the highest quality of opposition Europe has to offer. It's vital for the development of our players to compete at the highest level and consistent qualification to the Elite Round, Phase 2 and beyond, challenges our players against the toughest opponents in Europe.
"We are proud of the progress that has been made in 2022, which provides a good foundation to build on in the coming years. In addition to the players, Head Coaches and support staff, we also want to thank all the clubs that have played a part in the players' development journey thus far. Their continued commitment to supporting and developing young Irish players is key to the success of Irish football and our international teams in the short and longer term. We look forward to continuing to work together collaboratively in 2023."
Latest UEFA Rankings
- Republic of Ireland U21 | 19th
- Republic of Ireland MU19 | 8th
- Republic of Ireland MU17 | 9th
- Republic of Ireland WU19 | 17th
- Republic of Ireland WU17 | 6th