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Ireland Under-21s Reportedly Won’t Take Part In Toulon Tournament This Summer

FAI Ireland

The Republic of Ireland Under-21s will not take part in the Toulon Tournament this summer due to the FAI’s financial restrictions, according to reports.

The prestigious youth tournament played a key role in the development of Stephen Kenny’s side in 2019.

Toulon Tournament

Ireland reached the semi-finals of the competition in France, where they lost to eventual winners Brazil.

Kenny’s team had topped their group and ended up finishing fourth overall.

The games helped develop Irish players such as Aaron Connolly, Adam Idah and Jayson Molumby, all of whom went on to become key players for Kenny’s side.

Connolly has since scored in the Premier League for Brighton and made his senior Ireland debut.

Idah netted a hat-trick for Norwich City last month and lead the line at Old Trafford.

Molumby has become a regular for Millwall, on loan from Brighton, and caught the eye with several performances.

fai ireland

FAI’s financial troubles

However, due to financial restrictions within the FAI, the Ireland Under-21s will not be returning to the Toulon Tournament this summer, according to the Irish Independent.

As a result, Kenny’s final games as the team’s coach will come next month.

Ireland Under-21s play Iceland at Tallaght Stadium on March 26 before travelling to play Luxembourg on March 31.

The team’s final Euro 2021 qualifier will be on October 13 away to Italy, by which time Kenny will no longer be the Under-21 coach.

fai ireland

FAI succession plan

The former Dundalk boss will replace Mick McCarthy as Ireland senior manager following the conclusion of the Euro 2020 campaign.

Yet, Kenny could help the Under-21s take a step closer to qualification before he moves on.

Ireland Under-21s close to qualifying

Ireland are currently top of their group, with 17 points from nine games. Italy are second with 13 points from five matches and Iceland are third with nine points from five games.

If Ireland win their final two games under Kenny, they will be guaranteed a play-off place. The country has never qualified for a tournament at Under-21 level.

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