UCD Under-19s are set to begin their European adventure tomorrow evening as Norwegian side Molde FK head to Dublin in the UEFA Youth League.
The current SSE Airtricity League U19 Champions head into the UEFA Youth League through the domestic Champions path due to results in the UEFA Champions League play-offs and Ireland's improved seeding.
They follow in the footsteps of Cork City who became the first Irish side to compete in Europe's elite youth competition last season, beating HJK Helsinki and losing narrowly against AS Roma.
The first leg will be at the UCD Bowl tomorrow evening, with kick-off at 6.30pm, and manager Maciej Tarnogrodzki believes UCD are ready to compete in Europe.
Tarnogrodzki said: "The team is focused and we're ready to go. It is an important game but we want to approach it in a similar manner as we do in the league.
"We've had a good season so far and played really well, and we're aiming to do the same tomorrow against Molde. We want to represent Ireland in the right way but also as a player and a coach, you want to be part of the big games.
"Since we found out about Molde, we've put a lot of work into looking at them. I've watched them twice so I know more or less what to expect from them. They're a strong team but we know their style and now it's just a matter of using that knowledge on the pitch.
"To get the knowledge about Molde is one thing but as we don't play in the same league, we'll probably still have to find out about the opposition in the game itself."
UCD narrowly missed out on topping the SSE Airtricity League U19 Southern Elte Division with a 1-1 draw against leaders Cobh Ramblers at the weekend, but have already qualified for the U19 play-offs where they'll face Drogheda United in the quarter-finals.
UCD will travel to Norway to face Molde FK on Wednesday, 18 October in their second leg with UCD set to face either Zimbru Chișinău (Moldova) or Vllaznia (Albania) in the second round if they progress.
Tarnogrodzki continued: "Of course, it is always important to try and get a result to go into the second leg with something. But, it is more important for the players to believe in the way they play and to express that in each game.
"We like to control games in the league and I would like to see a similar approach in this competition as I believe we need to stick to our style to be successful. There is a lot of competition in the squad to play tomorrow night.
"We had to name a squad in which only three players were born in 1998 so a lot of our U19 players aren't eligible but we still have plenty of quality in the squad.
"We're really looking forward to it and it is definitely an experience which can only benefit the players in their long-term development."