U21 | Jim Crawford looks ahead to squad announcement

Jim Crawford’s Republic of Ireland Under-21s side will begin their quest to qualify for the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship next week as they take on Bosnia & Herzegovina followed by Luxembourg.

On Friday, Crawford will name his squad for the two away qualifiers as he looks to lead Ireland to a first U21 European Championship.

Speaking ahead of his first full campaign as U21 boss, Crawford said: “I’m certainly looking forward to the games. There’s been a lot of hard work with regards to watching games and making sure we got the squad right for Bosnia and Luxembourg, which will be two seriously competitive opponents. It’s going to be a real test for us and I can’t wait to get going.”

On what he has learned from the players involved in squads this year
“They want to qualify for the European finals with the U21s and they understand to play in these tournaments it is excellent for their development.

“They’re ambitious, they work hard and there’s a really good culture that has been developed over the last two international windows and things are moving nicely with the group.”

On potential players selected for Friday’s squad
“There’ll be a few surprises and we’ll be bringing in a couple of younger players who could still potentially play with the Under-19s, which is exciting and they’re players with great potential.”

On what fans can expect from this group of Under-21 players
"First and foremost, that we play an attacking style of football that the fans can be proud of. That they can see the high-potential players who are coming through our system. That when the games finish with a really good performance and a positive result they are excited and want to come to more of our games.”

Fixtures - UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group F qualifiers (all times are Irish times)

Friday, September 3 | Bosnia & Herzegovina U21 v Republic of Ireland U21, FF BH Football Training Centre, Zenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina, KO: 3.30pm

Tuesday, September 7 | Luxembourg U21 v Republic of Ireland U21, Stade Jos Nosbaum, Dudelange, Luxembourg, KO: 3pm

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