1996 UEFA European Under-16 Championships
In what was their fifth appearance in this tournament, Ireland finally made it into the knock-out stages after finishing second on Group A.
Led by Brian Kerr, the squad of talented youngsters travelled to Austria confident that they had enough creativity and firepower to mix it with Europe's elite nations.
The opening game saw Ireland come up against the host nation and a late finish from striker Robbie Keane proved to be the difference as they secured three vital points.
In their second game, Ireland faced off with Portugal and revenge was on the cards for the Class of 94 who had lost to the same opposition. But it wasn't to be as they lost 2-0.
That left it all on the line for the final game against Poland and Ireland did not let the opportunity slip them by a second-half finish from Stephen McPhail sealed a much-needed win.
Onto the quarter-finals, Ireland had a three-day turnaround before taking on France. The game itself ended in a scoreless draw before France held their nerve in a penalty shoot-out.
France would go on to each the final, where they narrowly lost 1-0 to Portugal. Overall, it was a hugely positive experience for the Ireland squad.
Republic of Ireland Squad
Niall Hobbart (Tralee Dynamos), John Murphy, David Billington (Peterborough United), Clive Clarke (Stoke City), Timothy McGrath (Celtic), Richard Dunne (Everton), Jason Gavin (Crumlin United), Gerard Crossley (Celtic), Stephen McPhail (Leeds United), Niall Byrne (Liverpool), Robbie Keane (Crumlin United), David Freeman (Cherry Orchard), Richie Partridge (Stella Maris), Paul Donnelly (Home Farm), Sean Mannion (Crumlin) Christopher Winters (Stella Maris)
Results
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Austria
Republic of Ireland 0-2 Portugal
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Poland
Republic of Ireland 0-0 France (4-5 pens)
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Introduction:
As part of the build-up to the 2019 UEFA European Under-17 Championships, we look back on the Republic of Ireland teams who competed in this tournament.




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