Republic of Ireland Under-21 manager Jim Crawford has set his sights on European Championships qualification following his appointment to the position.
Crawford was appointed the U-21 manager over the weekend after Stephen Kenny stepped up to the senior role. Crawford, a member of Kenny’s U-21 coaching staff, will now be manager of the team, assisted by former international John O’Shea.
The former Newcastle and Shelbourne midfielder will lead the team into the final three qualifying matches for the UEFA U-21 European Championships qualifying campaign with Ireland top of Group One. The finals tournament has been pushed back to 2022 due to the COVID-19 crisis with matches against Iceland, Luxembourg and Italy to be rescheduled.
Ireland have never qualified for the European Championships finals at U-21 level and Crawford is determined to get the squad over the line and qualify for the tournament in Hungary and Slovakia.
Crawford was previously the manager of the Republic of Ireland U-18 team before he took up the role in Kenny’s U-21 coaching staff.
Over the course of 2019, 36 players featured for the U-21 side in 12 fixtures and Crawford has pointed to the depth of talent he will get to work with, and is excited about the future of Irish football.