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Monday 13 May 2024
Northern Ireland U19s to face Slovakia twice

Northern Ireland’s Men's Under-19s will take on Slovakia in two international challenge matches next month as part of their preparations for the U19 Euros in July.

Gareth McAuley’s side are due to face the Slovakians in a friendly at Seaview in Belfast on Friday 7 June (6pm).

And then they will lock horns with them again on Monday 10 June at Inver Park in Larne (6pm).

The challenge matches are being staged at two of the grounds being used in the 2024 UEFA Men’s European Under-19 Championship finals, which are being held in Northern Ireland from 15 to 28 July.

Group stage games in the eight-team tournament are scheduled to be played at Seaview and Inver Park, while the semi-finals and final will be played at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast. The Irish Football Association is hosting U19 Euro 2024 along with UEFA.

Gareth McAuley’s U19s have been drawn in Group A with Italy, Norway and Ukraine, while Group B features Denmark, Spain, France and Turkiye.

Northern Ireland’s U19s will play their first game in the U19 Euros on Monday 15 July – at Inver Park against Ukraine (7pm start).

Matchday two for Northern Ireland is on Thursday 18 July when they will be taking on Italy at Larne FC’s home ground (7pm).

And on Sunday 21 July they will be in Group A action at Seaview (7pm) against Norway.

The National Football Stadium will host the semi-finals on Thursday 25 July. In the first semi-final the winner of Group A will face the Group B runner-up at 2pm, while the winner of Group B and the Group A runner-up are scheduled to meet at 7pm.

Five of the teams competing at this summer’s tournament will go on to represent Europe at the 2025 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Chile (four semi-finalists plus the winner of a play-off game between the teams finishing fifth and sixth overall).

And that play-off game is also scheduled to be played on Thursday 25 July. It is due to be staged at Seaview, with a 4.30pm start.

The winners of the semi-finals will then have two rest days before the final takes place on Sunday 28 July at the National Football Stadium. It will kick off at 7pm.