It was announced by UEFA this week that the Republic of Ireland will be ranked among the Second Seeded teams heading into the qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2016. The qualifying draw for the tournament will take place in Nice on the 23rd February, 2014.
As a result of being included among the second seeded nations means that Republic of Ireland go into the pot knowing that they will avoid all the other second seeded countries such as Croatia, Ukraine, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, and Hungary.
Ireland’s qualifying group will, however, contain one of the nations from the first seeded teams which include some of the powerhouses of European football such as the holders Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Whatever the outcome of the draw it certainly won’t be plain sailing for the Irish. There is even a remote chance that Ireland could be included in a group containing the ‘Home Nations’ of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland but the chances of that would be wildly astronomical!
Irish sport fans will be left watching the 2012 World Cup as they failed to qualify from the qualifying group stage, but there has since been a shake by the FAI in Dublin of the management personnel which they hope will herald a new era for the Irish National team.
A new management duo of the former Northern Ireland international and experienced Premier League manager, Martin O’Neill, along with former Republic of Ireland and Manchester United captain, Roy Keane, have been appointed to see in this new era of Irish football.
The Ireland squad have the potential to reach great heights as many of their players play at the highest level within the English Premier League and across Europe and of course their legendary talisman striker Robbie Keane currently plying his trade across the water at LA Galaxy.