U21 | Opponents for June friendlies confirmed

U21 | Opponents for June friendlies confirmed

It will be three teams from three different continents for Jim Crawford’s Ireland Under-21s as they head to Austria for a series of friendlies next month.

The young Boys in Green will face former African Cup of Nations U23s Champions Gabon before taking on Ukraine who themselves will play at this summer’s U21 European Championships.

Ireland then finish their summer international window against Kuwait U22s in what will be their final test ahead of September’s U21s EURO Qualifiers at home to Turkey and San Marino.

The squad will base themselves in the Austrian state of Burgenland in the east of the country for the 10-day camp.

The June friendlies follow their 2-1 win over Iceland in front of a sell-out crowd at Turner’s Cross back in March. It was the first outing for this new generation of U21 internationals with Crawford using this summer’s game as key preparation for competitive action later this year.

Speaking about the upcoming internationals, Head Coach Jim Crawford said: “It was very important for us to get three games in the June window to give me and the staff every opportunity to look at the group of players available to us.

“There is a lot of quality in our opposition, Ukraine are about to play at the Under-21 European Championships, Gabon are preparing for the Under-23s African Cup of Nations then it’s an Under-22s side in Kuwait who only last year were playing at the Under-23s Asian Cup and have already played three times as a group this year.

“We’re going to be coming up against three teams from three different continents who will all have their own style and it’s for us to overcome those challenges.

“There will be some new faces in the squad, some players from this season’s Under-19s and some players who were part our squads in the last campaign who weren’t with us in March – everyone will have a chance to impress.

“We look forward to meeting up because these games will be so important for our preparations for the qualifiers in September.”

Ireland Under-21s International Friendly Fixtures (venues and kick-off times to be confirmed)

Tuesday, June 13 | Ireland U21 v Gabon U23
Friday, June 16 | Ukraine U21 v Ireland U21
Monday, June 19 | Ireland U21 v Kuwait U22

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