Northern Ireland’s Women’s Under-19 and Women’s Under-17 teams will face strong opposition in stage one of the qualifiers for the 2023-24 editions of their respective European competitions.
Both teams will be competing in League A in the first round of Euro qualifiers this autumn.
At the draw at UEFA HQ in Switzerland today the WU19s were drawn in Group A1 alongside France, Italy and Hungary.
The WU17 team are also set to face Hungary as well as England and Belgium, in Group A6.
The hosts and dates for the respective League A mini tournaments will be confirmed soon.
Gail Redmond (pictured), who is manager of both teams, said: “I am really excited with the opportunities both of these groups bring.
“The A league is where we want to compete and it will be a real challenge to measure our development against such strong teams, especially five times winners France in the U19 mini tournament.”
In the WU19 competition the team finishing fourth in each of the seven League A groups will be relegated to League B for round two. The teams remaining in League A, and seven teams promoted from League B, will compete next spring for places at next summer’s UEFA WU19 Euro tournament in Lithuania.
In the WU17 competition the team finishing fourth in each of the seven League A groups will be relegated to League B for round two. The teams remaining in League A, and seven teams promoted from League B, will compete next spring for places at next summer’s UEFA WU17 Euro tournament in Sweden.
Northern Ireland’s WU19s were promoted to League A for round one of the 2023-24 edition of the WU19 European Championship from a League B mini tournament within the current competition which was hosted in Northern Ireland in April.
Their three matches in League B Group 3 were all staged in Belfast. Although they lost 2-1 to Cyprus, a 5-0 victory over Latvia and 3-1 win against Kosovo secured their place in League A this autumn.
The WU17s were promoted to League A for the next WU17 Euro competition after defeating Turkiye (Turkey) in a winner-takes-all game at the end of March.
The qualifier, staged at Manavgat in Antalya Province, saw Northern Ireland earn a 2-0 victory with second half goals from Mia Moore and Rachel McIntyre.
The WU17s had been expecting to face both the Turks and Armenia in League B Group 5 (stage two of WU17 Euro 2023 qualifying), however Armenia withdrew from the competition.