FAI Director of Football Marc Canham believes Ireland’s players should relish rather than fear their meetings with England in the Nations League.
The neighbours were grouped together in League B at today’s draw in Paris, producing the first competitive fixtures between the pair for 33 years.
Dates between September and November for the campaign – which also involves Finland and Greece – will be confirmed on Friday morning when fixture emerge from a computerised method.
Canham travelled to the draw as the FAI’s technical representative while the process to fill the vacancy he’s spearheading drags on.
Reacting to being pitted against England, the country he was born in and whose federation he previously worked for, Canham was upbeat about taking on Gareth Southgate’s team.
“England are a top-quality team and that’s where we want to be,” he said of the side ranked third in the world.
“Ultimately our aim is to be playing on a regular basis in the Nations League and in tournaments.
“It’s a tough draw but an exciting one with some amazing games. Playing England brings a lot of attraction and interest. It’s a challenge for our players but it’s a great opportunity for our players and team as well as our amazing fans.
“There haven’t been games against England for a while and the experience is one they can really look forward to.” Second and fourth seeds Finland and Greece have both beaten Ireland in the past three years and they are each still in with a chance of reaching the Euros through next month’s playoffs.
“It’s Greece again. Having only recently played them, we know each other pretty well.
“Finland are ranked very near us in the world rankings. so a tough but exciting draw.”Read on irishexaminer.com