Ireland under-17s facing tough opponents in European Championships

Tom Mahon’s side drawn with Italy, the Netherlands and England

The Irish under-17s have been drawn a “very tough” European Championships group. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The Irish under-17s have received a particularly tough draw for the group stage of the European Championships in Bulgaria at the start of May. Tom Mohan's side will face Italy, the Netherlands and last year's champions England with the top two progressing to the quarter-finals.

“There’s no doubting that this is going to be a very tough group but we knew when we qualified that we’d be mixing with top-quality teams no matter who you are in with,” said Mohan after the draw was announced.

"England beat Holland in the final last year so they are naturally going to be top-class opposition. Italy always excellent at underage level so of course we expect all of our games to be tough. However our players have done brilliantly for us this year and I am confident that they can prove ourselves against the best teams in Europe. "

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times