Republic of Ireland under 21 manager Noel King has acknowledged that his team have been drawn in a 'tough' group in the 2015 Uefa under 21 European Championship qualifying stage.
The Young Boys in Green were drawn in Group Six alongside 2009 European under 21 champions Germany, as well as Romania, Montenegro and the Faroe Islands. Ireland begin their campaign away to the Faroe Islands on August 14 before hosting Germany on September 9. The campaign will conclude away to Germany on September 5, 2014.
Speaking after the draw, King said that while it would undoubtedly be a difficult group, his squad could take inspiration from the previous qualification campaign, when Ireland finished third in their group, taking four points off Italy.
"It's going to be a tough group for certain with the Germans in it and an established football nation like Romania also involved," said King. "Montenegro will be a challenge and Faroe Islands will also be an interesting test.
"But we look back on our most recent campaign when we took four points off the Italians. It shows what can be achieved with belief and application. Those results also show the need for consistency at this level as we obviously dropped points elsewhere."
He added: "Germany are going to be a huge attraction and we are really looking forward to those games. The last campaign showed that the second and third seeds can be just as difficult in this age group so it's a group that we are looking forward to competing in."
The Republic of Ireland under 21s will face the Netherlands in a friendly match at Tallaght Stadium on Wednesday, February 6 and the FAI has announced that holders of Republic of Ireland v Poland tickets on February 6 will be given free entry.
Uefa U21 EURO 2015 qualifying Group Six fixtures
August 14, 2013: Faroe Islands v Republic of Ireland
September 9, 2013: Republic of Ireland v Germany
October 11, 2013: Romania v Republic of Ireland
October 15, 2013: Republic of Ireland v Romania
November 15, 2013: Republic of Ireland v Faroe Islands
November 19, 2013: Montenegro v Republic of Ireland
March 5, 2014: Republic of Ireland v Montenegro
September 5, 2014: Germany v Republic of Ireland