Doolin to lead Irish U19s for two more seasons

Paul Doolin has confirmed he’s penned a contract extension to manage Ireland U19s for the next two seasons.

Doolin to lead Irish U19s for two more seasons

The 51-year-old had raised uncertainty over his future in May following Ireland’s failure to reach the European Championships for the third season on the trot when they bowed out at the elite qualifying stage.

After discussions with the association’s High Performance Director, Ruud Dokter, however, Doolin has agreed another term at the helm.

“The association asked me to stay on and I’m happy to do so,” said Doolin, who guided Ireland to semi-final of the Uefa U19 European Championship at his first attempt, in the 2010/11 season.

“It is a difficult job because we don’t have the regular access to players that other countries have.

“People might think we should be qualifying for tournaments every year but it must be remembered that we got to the second, elite phase last season, when the likes of France and the Netherlands didn’t.”

The Dubliner’s latest batch of hopefuls kick off their season with three friendlies, the first of which is against the Dutch on Monday, September 8 at Tallaght. Ireland then travel to Sweden in October for a double header.

These matches will be geared towards the Uefa qualification campaign, kicking off with the first phase round-robin group from November 13 to November 18, which Ireland will host in Waterford.

Doolin’s side must finish amongst the top two of a pool featuring Switzerland, Malta and Gibraltar to secure their place in the elite phase. The 2015 finals will be held in Greece.

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