The Republic of Ireland Under-19 Women’s squad flew out to Serbia today, hoping to start a path to qualification for the UEFA European Championship finals in Wales next August.
Dave Connell, fresh from guiding the U17 Women’s squad to the second round of their European Championship with a 100 per cent record from three group games, will be hoping for more of the same when his side face Cyprus, Latvia and Serbia over the next week in Group 1 of the ten group first round stage.
Unlike the first round of the U17 competition, the two top will automatically qualify for the second round where they will join top seeds Germany, France and England as well as the third placed team with the best record against the top two in their first round group.
Those 24 will then play-off in six four team groups with the group winners and the runners-up with the best record against the first and third placed teams in their group joining hosts Wales in the finals tournament.
"With two coming out of the group it should make life a little easier but we are not looking further than our opening game against Cyprus on Saturday,” said Connell before departing Dublin.
"The girls have looked good in training and there is a good spirit there."
The squad will be based in Stara Pazova, a town 40km North West of the Serbian capital Belgrade and will meet Lativa on Monday before finishing against hosts, Serbia, on Thursday next.