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Latest UEFA rankings show Ireland underage teams are among the elite

Latest UEFA rankings show Ireland underage teams are among the elite

Following the release of the latest UEFA rankings, the Republic of Ireland's underage international teams are within Europe's very best.

Among the rankings released, the Menโ€™s Under-19s and Under-17s teams, as well as the women's Under-17s are all placed in the top 10.

The Under-21s and Women's Under-19s are also ranked in Europe's top 20.

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In the latest ranking calculations, Tom Mohanโ€™s MU19s have risen two positions to eighth, while Colin Oโ€™Brienโ€™s MU17s have solidified their ninth-placed position.

James Scott's WU17s have made significant progress to sixth place, with Dave Connell's WU19s also progressing to the 17th spot.

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Confirmation of Irelandโ€™s rise at underage international level follows on from the Under-21s who have reached 19th in the UEFA rankings - which is an all-time highest place for Ireland at that level.

Under Mohan, Ireland MU19s reached the semi-finals of the UEFA European Under-19 Championships in 2019, where a Portugal side inspired by Gonรงalo Ramos ended their excellent run to the last four.

Oโ€™Brien guided his sides to three successive UEFA European Under-17 Championships before the COVID-19 outbreak and has successfully reached every Elite Round since his appointment as Head Coach in 2016.

Scott's team earned sixth place in Europe having topped their recent qualifying group ahead of Austria, Finland and Northern Ireland in Phase 1 of qualifying.

It came off the back of a successful qualification Phase 1 for Connell's young Girls in Green who finished joint second in their group with Poland and were only bettered on points by France. Connell previously led the WU19s to the semi-finals of the European Championships in 2014.

Director of Football Marc Canham said: "It's excellent to see our teams ranked among the highest quality of opposition Europe has to offer.

"It's vital for the development of our players to compete at the highest level and consistent qualification to the Elite Round, Phase 2 and beyond, challenges our players against the toughest opponents in Europe.

"We are proud of the progress that has been made in 2022, which provides a good foundation to build on in the coming years. In addition to the players, Head Coaches and support staff, we also want to thank all the clubs that have played a part in the players' development journey thus far.

"Their continued commitment to supporting and developing young Irish players is key to the success of Irish football and our international teams in the short and longer term. We look forward to continuing to work together collaboratively in 2023."

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