UCD AFC to compete in UEFA Youth League for first time

Posted September 05, 2017

UCD AFC’s U19 team will play Molde FK in the first round of the UEFA Youth League following the Students first-ever qualification for the tournament.

The first leg of the tie will be played in the UCD Bowl later this month before the Students travel to Norway. Dates and kick-off times are still to be confirmed.

“It’s great to know who the opposition is now so we can begin to do our homework on them,” UCD manager Maciej Tarnogrodzki told the42.ie.

“There were going to be no easy teams in the draw and we know Scandinavian teams will always be tough to play against. It is a great moment in the club’s history to be in the competition and we want to make sure we take full advantage of it.

“It’s a great reward for the players who’ve done so well over recent years and they’re going to get a great experience in European competition now.”

The UEFA Youth League is made up of 64 teams. UCD are one of 32 who enter the competition as domestic champions after they won the 2017 U19 SSE Airtricity League.

The remaining 32 participants come from the youth teams of all 32 clubs who take part in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League. UCD must get through two rounds to enter the play-offs and face one of the representatives from these clubs.

Austrian side FC Red Bull Salzburg are the current holders of the UEFA Youth League after they defeated Benfica 2-1 in the 2016/17 final.

By: Jonny Baxter, digital journalist, UCD University Relations