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Thursday 20 May 2021
Locations for U19 and U17 Euro autumn qualifiers confirmed

The locations for the Northern Ireland Under-19 and Under-17 teams’ return to competitive action have been finalised.

Neither side has played competitive football this season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with their respective European qualifiers scrapped by UEFA, but they are scheduled to return to the heat of battle this autumn.

The U19s are due to face Czech Republic, Denmark and Kazakhstan (Group 13) in a four-team mini tournament in the qualifying round for the next U19 Euros. The games are pencilled in for 6-12 October in the Czech Republic, although match venues have still to be finalised.

The top two in 13 qualifying groups plus the third-placed team with the best record against the leading pair in their section progress to join top seeds Portugal in the elite round, which is due to be played in spring 2022.

Slovakia, who will be hosting the UEFA U19 European Championship finals in the summer of 2022, qualify directly for the final tournament as hosts.

In the UEFA Under-17 Euros preliminary round the boys in green and white will face Italy, Scotland and Albania (Group 12). And Northern Ireland will be hosting the mini tournament from 27 October to 2 November. Again match venues have still to be finalised.

The top two teams in 13 qualifying groups will join top seeds Netherlands and Spain in the spring 2022 elite round along with the four third-placed teams with the best records against the top two in their section.

Israel, who will be hosting the UEFA U17 European Championship finals in May 2022, qualify directly for the final tournament.

Northern Ireland U19s and U17s boss Gerard Lyttle and his backroom team of Andy Waterworth, Gareth McAuley and Roy Carroll have already staged training camps and coaching sessions for both age groups and will stage further sessions and friendlies ahead of the qualifiers later this year.