Ireland U21s drawn to face Bahrain, China, and Mexico at Toulon Tournament

Ireland U21s drawn to face Bahrain, China, and Mexico at Toulon Tournament

The Republic of Ireland's Under-21s have learned their opponents for the Toulon Tournament in June.

Stephen Kenny's side have been drawn in Group C alongside Bahrain, China, and Mexico as they compete in Ireland's first Toulon Tournament since 2002.

The tournament in France will form a key part of Ireland's preparations for the Euro Under-21 qualifiers against Armenia and Sweden in the autumn.

"Ireland have never qualified for a major tournament at Under-21 level so Toulon represents one of the highest tournament experiences at this age level, which will stand them well in the future," said Kenny in an FAI statement.

"The first game is against China. Guus Hiddink is over the Under-21s so it shows the huge amount of resources they're putting into their teams. Of course, Hiddink previously managed South Korea, Australia, and Holland at the World Cup.

"Mexico will be very strong, quarter-finalists in the last Under-20s World Cup, and have a great history of success at this level having previously competed in the Olympics.

"With Qatar 2022, Bahrain will be pushing to qualify for that tournament, it will be at the forefront of their minds, and the players who will play in Toulon will be pushing to be part of that tournament in a few years time.

"China, Mexico, and Bahrain will all have players from 1996 & 1997 whilst we'll have players like Adam Idah, who is a 2001, and even Troy Parrott, who is a 2002, so it will be a great exposure for our players.

"Three different styles of play which will be very intriguing and the weather will be very hot in Toulon so it presents a challenge. We're coming off the back of a good performance against Luxembourg in March and we're looking forward to the competition."

2019 Toulon Tournament - Republic of Ireland Fixtures

03/06 - Republic of Ireland v China, Stade de Lattre, 3.30pm

06/06 - Mexico v Republic of Ireland, Stade Parsemain, 7.30pm

09/06 - Republic of Ireland v Bahrain, Stade Jules Ladoumègue, 3pm

2019 Toulon Tournament - Full Draw

Group A

England

Chile

Japan

Portugal

Group B

France

Brazil

Guatemala

Qatar

Group C

Ireland

Bahrain

China

Mexico

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