New U21 boss Crawford: Euro qu...

Sport

New U21 boss Crawford: Euro qualification would be incredible for country

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

4:01 PM - 8 Apr 2020



Newly appointed Republic of Ireland U21 manager Jim Crawford hopes to finish what Stephen Kenny started and qualify for the European Championships.

The former Bohemians and Newcastle midfielder was handed the reins after Kenny was confirmed as senior boss at the weekend.

Crawford was assistant to Kenny before the latter's promotion and was also head coach of the Republic of Ireland U18 side.

"It's a huge honour for me to take up the role. I was delighted to be asked and I couldn't wait to accept the position", Crawford told FAI TV.

He takes over with the U21s leading Group 1 of their Euro qualifying group after 7 games.

Ireland have never qualified for a major international tournament at U21 level, but Crawford's confident he can help change that, "I've been part of the coaching staff with the team for the past 13 months and we've seen a fantastic development of the team.

"We've played an incredible amount of matches but done brilliantly in the qualifying campaign and also, in the Toulon Tournament.

"We're in a great position. We're top of the group with three matches remaining. We've never qualified for the finals tournament at this level and that has to be the aim. If we could qualify, it would be incredible for the players but also the country as well."

Ireland have a home game with Iceland, and away trips to both Luxembourg and Italy remaining in their group.

Crawford believes there's talent in abundance to help the U21 side in the immediate future, and hopefully Kenny's senior side beyond that, "It's there for everybody to see now and over the years, I've worked with the likes of Adam Idah and Jason Knight, players of that calibre at such a young age and it really is an exciting time for Irish football.

"When I had those players at U-18 level, which is a challenging age group as it is non-competitive, but they played like their lives depended on it. It shows the commitment they've got in playing for their country but also, the quality we have.

"I'm excited to be able to continue working with them and I've got no doubt it, there are a few players who might push up to the senior squad. We'll look to fill those voids if that does happen but we've got fantastic strength in depth and it'll open up the opportunity to someone else."



You might like

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Dermot & Dave

Dermot & Dave

9 AM-12 PM

Share

Up next

Mairead Ronan

Mairead Ronan

12 PM-2 PM

Share

Fergal D'Arcy

Fergal D'Arcy

2 PM-4:30 PM

Share

The Last Word with Matt Cooper

The Last Word with Matt Cooper

4:30 PM-7 PM

Share

Ed's National Anthems

Ed's National Anthems

7 PM-10 PM

Share

The Paul McLoone Show

The Paul McLoone Show

10 PM-12 AM

Share

Overnight

Overnight

12 AM-5 AM

Share

Early Breakfast with Paula Mac...

Early Breakfast with Paula MacSweeney

5 AM-7 AM

Share

The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show

The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show

7 AM-9 AM

Share

Dermot & Dave

Dermot & Dave

9 AM-12 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on