Ireland U-21 international Evan Ferguson has said qualifying for next year’s European Championship would be “unbelievable”.
The Brighton striker made his U-21 debut in September of last year aged just 16, as Ireland defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina in their opening group game. In January 2021, Ferguson made the move to Brighton from Bohemians and has hit 13 goals in 31 games for their U-23 side to date.
The Bettystown native also made his Premier League debut off the bench last February, but his focus will firmly be on his country when the squad gathers next month.
“Playing for your country is what everyone wants to do, but qualifying for a Euros would be unbelievable,” said Ferguson, speaking to FAITV.
“It’s all we want to do, get over that barrier. It would mean a lot for us, and for the younger players coming through. We’re a tight knit group. There are no egos and we’re all on the same page. We’re going to give it our all to get over the line and qualify.”
Jim Crawford’s side face Israel in a two-legged play-off next month, as they aim to qualify for a first-ever major tournament at the age grade. Ireland finished second in their group, and secured a play-off with back-to-back wins over Sweden before home victories against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro in June.
“When you get called into camps, you get to know the players and build relationships on and off the pitch,” Ferguson added.
“I feel like I’ve been used to being one of the younger ones. It helped to have boys like Andy Lyons, Dawson Devoy and Ross Tierney there, it wasn't like I didn't know anyone going into the camp. It helps playing at a high level at your club, in and around training with the first team and coming back, everyone’s in the same bubble. We have a great chance of qualifying.”