Cork City U-19s land place in UEFA Youth League
Published 26/08/2016 | 02:30
Cork City are set to become the first Irish club to compete in the UEFA Youth League.
The Leesiders had their place confirmed in the competition after Celtic, Manchester City, Porto and Legia Warsaw progressed in the UEFA Champions League, which meant that their underage teams qualified automatically for the Youth League.
As a result, places opened up in the domestic champions' side of the Youth League draw and, as SSE Airtricity U-19 winners, Cork City will now take their place at the top table of European youth football.
Manager Steven Bermingham said: "The lads are ecstatic and there's a real excitement about the place.
"A dream has become a reality as to play against some of the top clubs in Europe will be an unbelievable experience and opportunity for the players.
"It makes all our efforts worthwhile. We've been working really hard on our underage set-up to develop local talent and they will now get to play on the main stage.
"The top clubs in Europe have huge academies. Ajax are well known for consistently bringing through top talent and it would be really exciting if we got to play against them.
"There is a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to make the league better.
"Hopefully, we will be the first team of many to qualify for the UEFA Youth League."
The draw takes place on Tuesday morning at 11.0 in Nyon.