This summer’s European Under-21 Championships may not have even started yet, but that hasn’t stopped UEFA and a number of head coaches from across Europe start planning for 2017.
Last week, in Nyon, the qualifying draw for the 2017 iteration of UEFA’s premier youth tournament took place and the fifty-two nations vying to book their ticket to Poland – which includes the Czech Republic’s Under-21s – found out who their initial opponents would be.
There is expected to be a generational shift once the Czech Republic wave goodbye to this year’s competition, with many established players set to permanently graduate beyond the Under-21 ranks. And so a keen eye was kept on events in France to find out just who Jakub Dovalil’s next crop of Czech youngsters would be pitted against.
Fortunately, the group appears to have been relatively kind, one that the Lvicata should navigate with a fair amount of ease.
The Czech Under-21s were first out of the hat from the top portion of seeds and from there things fell into place. Belgium (Pot 2) appears to be the main rivals, while Montenegro and Moldova represent comfortable opponents to be summoned from pots three and four respectively. The bigger nations such as Croatia, Austria and Scotland had been avoided. Latvia and Malta make up the rest of the six nation Group 1.
Head coach Jakub Dovalil was bullish about his side’s chances, telling the Czech FA’s website: “With all due respect to the [other] participants in the group, I think that we are the favourites, along with Belgium.”
|04th September 2015||Czech Republic v Malta|
|08th September 2015||Latvia v Czech Republic|
|13th October 2015||Czech Republic v Montenegro|
|12th November 2015||Czech Republic v Belgium|
|16th November 2015||Moldova v Czech Republic|
|25th March 2016||Czech Republic v Latvia|
|29th March 2016||Malta v Czech Republic|
|1st September 2016||Montenegro v Czech Republic|
|6th September 2016||Belgium v Czech Republic|
|7th October 2016||Czech Republic v Moldova|
Tickets for the event in Prague, Olomouc and Uherske Hradiste are currently flying off the shelves like proverbial hot cakes, something which will surely bode well for Poland who will be hosting the 2017 event.
- Posted by Chris Boothroyd
- On 11th February 2015