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Thread: 2023 UEFA Under-21 Championships

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    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    2023 UEFA Under-21 Championships

    Draw to take place tomorrow for the qualifying groups for the 2023 UEFA Under 21 Championships, to be held in Romania and Georgia at 11:30: https://www.uefa.com/under21/news/02...aw-28-january/

    Pot 1: Spain*, Germany*, France*, England*, Italy*, Denmark*, Portugal*, Netherlands*, Croatia*
    Pot 2: Austria, Poland, Sweden, Czech Republic*, Belgium, Russia*, Serbia, Switzerland*, Greece
    Pot 3: Slovakia, Iceland*, Ukraine, Slovenia*, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Norway, Bulgaria, Turkey
    Pot 4: Scotland, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Wales, Northern Ireland, Finland, Hungary*, Belarus, Albania
    Pot 5: Montenegro, Kosovo, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Latvia
    Pot 6: Luxembourg, Armenia, Malta, Andorra, Estonia, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, San Marino
    *Competing at 2021 Under-21 final tournament in Hungary and Slovenia, alongside Romania
    All Pot 1 teams are dangerous, but we really want to avoid Belgium and Russia in Pot 2. Having lost twice to them in the last U21 group, I'm glad we can't draw Iceland again.

    All players born on or after 1st January 2000 are eligible, including
    Jonathan Afolabi(January 2000), Ali Reghba(January 2000), Aaron Connolly(January 2000), Gavin Kilkenny(February 2000), Aaron Bolger(February 2000), Will Smallbone(February 2000), Conor Coventry(March 2000), Michael Obafemi(July 2000), Lee O'Connor(July 2000), Joshua Kayode(December 2000), Mark McGuinness(January 2001), Will Ferry(January 2001), Adam Idah(February 2001), Jason Knight(February 2001), Luca Connell(April 2001), Nathan Collins(April 2001), Adam O'Reilly(May 2001), Jamie Bowden(July 2001), Tyreik Wright(September 2001), Shane Flynn(October 2001), Lewis Richards(October 2001), Troy Parrott(February 2002), Gavin Bazunu(February 2002), Armstrong Okoflex(March 2002), Andrew Omobamidele(June 2002), Joe Hodge(September 2002), Mipo Odubeko(October 2002),

    <EDIT>
    Fixtures confirmed

    Republic of Ireland Group F UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifiers
    Code:
     Friday, 3rd September 2021 | Bosnia & Herzegovina vs Republic of Ireland 
    Tuesday, 7th September 2021 | Luxembourg vs Republic of Ireland
       Friday, 8th October 2021 | Republic of Ireland vs Luxembourg
     Tuesday, 12th October 2021 | Montenegro vs Republic of Ireland
     Friday, 12th November 2021 | Republic of Ireland vs Italy 
    Tuesday, 16th November 2021 | Republic of Ireland vs Sweden
       Tuesday, 29th March 2022 | Sweden vs Republic of Ireland
          Friday, 3rd June 2022 | Republic Ireland vs Bosnia & Herzegovina
          Monday, 6th June 2022 | Republic of Ireland vs Montenegro
        Tuesday, 14th June 2022 | Italy vs Republic of Ireland
    Last edited by tetsujin1979; 03/02/2021 at 4:41 PM.
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    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    Draw about to start on uefa.com: https://www.uefa.com/under21/draws/
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    Almost the same group as last time!

    Italy
    Sweden
    Ireland
    Bosnia
    Montenegro
    Luxembourg

    On paper we probably have our best ever Under 21 team for this campaign. You could in theory have a team of

    Bazunu
    O'Connor Collins McGuinness Richards
    Coventry Knight
    Smallbone
    Parrott Idah Connolly

    But obviously that team will never take the field. Idah, Connolly and Knight will be with the seniors in March and Parrott, Collins and Bazunu probably won't be far behind them in terms of getting promoted.

    So I'll predict at this stage that the same thing will happen as happened in the last campaign, our squad will be decimated by senior callups and we won't qualify. I'd be particularly worried about our depth in the goalkeeping position if Bazunu gets injured or called up to the seniors.

    To be fair though, this tournament is about more than qualifying for the finals, it's a great chance to see who else we have coming through that could make it at a decent level. I'm hoping to see the likes of Festy Ebosele, Andrew Omobamidele, Mason O'Malley, Lewis Richards, Joe Hodge, Gavin Kilkenny, Luca Connell, Will Ferry and Josh Kayode as well as maybe Mipo Odubeko get a go at some stage during this campaign.
    Last edited by Eirambler; 28/01/2021 at 11:18 AM.
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    International Prospect sadloserkid's Avatar
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    Group F: Italy*, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Luxembourg
    The ball is round and has many surprises.

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    Just trying to figure out what our goalkeeping options will be for this campaign beyond Bazunu. Bazunu is arguably our fourth choice senior keeper at the moment as Kieran O'Hara's form seems to have fallen off a cliff and Max O'Leary isn't getting a game at Bristol City. So it wouldn't take much for him to be lost to the seniors, in fact I'd be surprised if he's still with the under 21s by the end of this campaign.

    Bobby Jones is a 19 year old Irish keeper at Wigan - I believe he is still there despite them letting a lot of young players go due to financial issues.

    Harry Halwax is an 18 year old Irish keeper at Derby and there's Jimmy Corcoran who is also 18 but I don't know that he has a club after being let go by Dundalk. Both are also eligible for the under 19s this year also though.

    David Odomuso might be a regular in the Premier Division this season with Drogheda. He's 19 so could be an option.

    Is there anyone else obvious that I'm forgetting? Kelleher, Travers and Ed McGinty are all overage now.

    It seems like there's plenty of decent quality cover in pretty much every other position to allow for injuries and senior callups, other than in goal.
    Last edited by Eirambler; 28/01/2021 at 11:56 AM.
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    Seasoned Pro CraftyToePoke's Avatar
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    Has O'Leary definitely gone green ? I think I remember Mick Mack saying he was off to sort the paperwork after he joined the squad that time, but there hasn't been any news since or call ups.

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    My understanding was that O'Leary was now fully available to us, but I'm open to correction if anyone knows otherwise?

    Incidentally I wonder how Ryan Johansson is doing these days and whether his paperwork has gone through to transfer his eligibility to Sweden. If he is in their squad he will have the chance to play against both of his other nations, Ireland and Luxembourg, in this group.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eirambler View Post
    Just trying to figure out what our goalkeeping options will be for this campaign beyond Bazunu. Bazunu is arguably our fourth choice senior keeper at the moment as Kieran O'Hara's form seems to have fallen off a cliff and Max O'Leary isn't getting a game at Bristol City. So it wouldn't take much for him to be lost to the seniors, in fact I'd be surprised if he's still with the under 21s by the end of this campaign.

    Bobby Jones is a 19 year old Irish keeper at Wigan - I believe he is still there despite them letting a lot of young players go due to financial issues.

    Harry Halwax is an 18 year old Irish keeper at Derby and there's Jimmy Corcoran who is also 18 but I don't know that he has a club after being let go by Dundalk. Both are also eligible for the under 19s this year also though.

    David Odomuso might be a regular in the Premier Division this season with Drogheda. He's 19 so could be an option.

    Is there anyone else obvious that I'm forgetting? Kelleher, Travers and Ed McGinty are all overage now.

    It seems like there's plenty of decent quality cover in pretty much every other position to allow for injuries and senior callups, other than in goal.
    Id say:

    Bazunu, Maher, Odumosu

    Those would be the top 3 in my eyes. Kian Clarke was the first choice keeper for the 2001 U17s till he got injured. Think he went to Bray to compete with Maher. Could be wrong but thought he was getting his game for Rovers II last season.

    Youd imagine Danny Rose of Schalke would be the U19s keeper, or could be Corcoran depending on where he ends up... obviously theres a chance they call a replacement from there

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    Young Gavin made a hash of a clearance in stoppage time last night; gave Shodipo a goal and Oxford Utd 3 points. Rochdale have just appointed a new goalkeeping coach, Dave Timmins, and hopefully Gavin will benefit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eirambler View Post
    My understanding was that O'Leary was now fully available to us, but I'm open to correction if anyone knows otherwise
    Quote Originally Posted by MickMack View Post
    He can't play in competitive games until he receives an Irish passport but the national team coach believes the experience will be good for him in the meantime.

    The 22-year-old keeper qualifies for Republic of Ireland through his grandfather's Kerry roots.

    McCarthy told the national side's website: "Max is in the process of getting his passport, so that is taking its time. But this is a good opportunity to have a look at him and for him to meet up with the lads.

    "He's had a very good season with Bristol City and was very keen to do what he needed to become eligible for us, so we will take a close look at him in training and leave the process of getting its passport up to our International Department.
    From this article at the time - https://www.bcfc.co.uk/news/oleary-t...-with-ireland/

    I don't remember seeing anymore on this since, but may well have missed it. He's not in the Bristol side regularly but neither is O'Dowda plenty of the time.

    SK speaks specifically about keeper options here in November last year including calling Bazunu up, but didn't mention O'Leary at all - https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/soc...p-up-1.4403838

    O'Learys Wiki page is has him as an Irish international alright.
    Last edited by CraftyToePoke; 28/01/2021 at 6:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sadloserkid View Post
    Group F: Italy*, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Luxembourg
    All in all a decent group to finish in the top two and get to the play offs automatically.
    The play off seedings are probably based on the placing in the 2nd place table.
    Unfortunate to get Bosnia from the 4th pot, a very doubtful 6 pointer.

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    Banned. Children Banned. Grandchildren Banned. 3 Months. Charlie Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elatedscum View Post
    I’d say:

    Bazunu, Maher, Odumosu

    Those would be the top 3 in my eyes. Kian Clarke was the first choice keeper for the 2001 U17s till he got injured. Think he went to Bray to compete with Maher. Could be wrong but thought he was getting his game for Rovers II last season.

    You’d imagine Danny Rose of Schalke would be the U19s keeper, or could be Corcoran depending on where he ends up... obviously there’s a chance they call a replacement from there
    Clarke was stuck in a weird position at Rovers last season where he was sharing games with Leon Pohls, the first-team sub keeper playing as an overage player, and I don't think he was happy about it.

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    Banned. Children Banned. Grandchildren Banned. 3 Months. Charlie Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    All in all a decent group to finish in the top two and get to the play offs automatically.
    The play off seedings are probably based on the placing in the 2nd place table.
    Unfortunate to get Bosnia from the 4th pot, a very doubtful 6 pointer.
    I thought the same about Bosnia but according to ET we've beaten them every time we've played them with this age group: https://www.extratime.com/articles/2...championships/

    Obviously that was with Idah, Parrott, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Darwin View Post
    I thought the same about Bosnia but according to ET we've beaten them every time we've played them with this age group: https://www.extratime.com/articles/2...championships/

    Obviously that was with Idah, Parrott, etc.
    I watched them win their last group game impressively v Belgium and Belgium had already beaten Germany twice. But maybe that whole u21 qual campaign was topsy turfy. And in general each U21 qual campaign starts with a newish squad, previous impressive form does not necessarily follow on.

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    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    Bosnia had some bizarre results in the last u21 qualifiers, won all but one game at home, a loss to Germany, beating Belgium and Wales, but lost all but one of their away games, a 2-2 draw with Moldova

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    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    Qualifying fixtures announced, and added to the first post - https://www.fai.ie/ireland/news/irel...ures-confirmed
    The FAI are trying to organise a friendly in March, and hope to take part in the Toulon tournament in June
    Crawford said he will use the upcoming March international window to secure a friendly game in what would be the U21s first non-competitive fixture since June 2019 – that game coming against Mexico in the Toulon tournament.

    Crawford added: “A friendly is a great opportunity to introduce new players to the group and get them to understand what we’re looking for in the Under-21s. Although it’s a friendly it’s the start of a journey to build essential relationships in our squad.

    “After that friendly we’re very keen on playing in the Toulon Tournament in June. I was involved with it in 2019 and I saw the benefits of it and the growth of players during the competition. There were some players who used that tournament to really kick-on their career at club level and with us playing three qualifying games the following June it’s an excellent chance to prepare for three games in quick succession.”
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    Would be great if they went to Toulon again, it seemed to help a lot with the progression of the last group of under 21s.
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    Id be surprised if Toulon was going ahead

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    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    Interview with Crawford on th42.ie: https://www.the42.ie/jim-crawford-in...63948-Mar2021/
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    Interesting to see who might be in the 21s this week. Louie Watson hopefully will be included really strong season from nowhere at derby . Be good to see odubeko included.unlikely I assume that finn would be allowed travel from Spain if he is interested. Flynn from Leicesterand ferry from Southampton have made breakthrough of sorts I suppose this season. Conor grant getting some games at rochdale and ciaran brennan and hunt involved a bit at sheff wed. Will there be home based players due to covid or they will stick with UK based players?

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