February 13, 2007:
UEFA European Under-21 Championship 2009 in Sweden:

The Faroe Islands Under-21 national team draw Italy, Croatia, Greece, Albania and Azerbaijan, as the Faroes for the first time take part in an Under-21 competition.

The 51 teams were seeded into 5 pots, with the Faroe Islands seeded in the lowest, pot E, among Scotland, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Malta, San Marino, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, and Montenegro.

These 5 pots were then to be drawn into 10 groups; 9 with 5 teams and one with 6.

And, lo and behold, the Faroe Islands happened to be the very first team to be drawn and were put into group 1; the only group with 6 teams. The other teams to follow into group 1 were Azerbaijan (also from pot E), Albania ( pot D), Greece (pot C), Croatia (pot B) and Italy from pot A.

The 10 matches will be played from 2 June 2007 to 10 September 2008. The 10 group winners and the 4 best runners-up will then compete in a 2-legged playoff, where the 7 winners will qualify for the European Under-21 Championship in Sweden in 2009. Sweden qualify as hosts.

So how will the Faroe Islands cope? Well, it'll be difficult!

Any chance for points? Very doubtful. If so, then they should theoretically come from the games against Azerbaijan, who also came from pot E, the one with the weakest teams. But with the Faroes having never played U-21 matches before, it's very difficult to make predictions. Albania from pot 4 doesn't sound too scary maybe, if we think of their senior team, but however, they'll probably also be very tough opposition. And then the teams only get stronger and stronger with Greece and Croatia from pot C and B, respectively, and then Italy as the strongest team from pot A. Italy has won the European Under-21 Championship 5 times of the last 8!

In addition to being a hard draw regarding soccer itself, it will also be a hard battle for the Faroese Soccer Association financially, as it's quite expensive to travel to so many countries so far away from the Faroe Islands.

Previous Winners:
2006 Netherlands
2004 Italy
2002 Czech Republic
2000 Italy
1998 Spain
1996 Italy
1994 Italy
1992 Italy
1990 USSR
1988 France
1986 Spain
1984 England
1982 England
1980 USSR
1978 Serbia

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