Irish U21s begin UEFA Championships campaign in Faroes
THE Republic of Ireland U21 side begin their UEFA Championships qualifying campaign tomorrow evening with a tricky away assignment in Toftir against the Faroe Islands (7.00pm Irish).
Noel King's side finished third in their group last time out and produced impressive performances – including picking up four points against eventual runners-up Italy.
The Faroes have already played two games in the qualifying campaign and drew 2-2 with Romania in June so King expects a tough start to the new campaign.
"The Faroes showed by drawing 2-2 against Romania in June that they're well capable of competing in this level of qualifiers. They would see us as another target and we'll need to be mentally strong to deal with that," said King.
"It's the beginning of a new campaign and the priority is to get some points on the board. It will be a difficult task but the players are eager to get the qualifiers under way with a good start."
Ireland are without the suspended Anthony Forde and Derrick Williams while Wycombe Wanderers defender Charles Dunne was added to the squad over the weekend following the withdrawal of Kane Ferdinand through injury.
King is pleased with how his side has shaped up in the past few days.
"Preparations have gone well. We assembled in London on Sunday and had a light workout on Monday after arriving in the Faroes. The tempo in today's training session was good too and all the lads are looking forward to the game," he said.
"As we're playing the fixture on an artificial pitch, we've trained on the same surface. These pitches are a fact of life in the modern game and the players have adjusted well. I don't have any concerns about it.
"We have a few players missing through suspensions but I've every confidence in the squad I have here. Charles Dunne is a regular for Wycombe Wanderers and has declared for Ireland through his mother, who is from Galway."