The Republic of Ireland women's team have been handed an interesting draw in their quest for qualification to UEFA Women's Euro 2021, bringing with it both the glamour of one of the world's elite teams and the real possibility of qualification.
Colin Bell's side have been drawn in Group I alongside Germany, Ukraine, Greece and Montenegro.
The Girls In Green were among the third seeds for today's draw at UEFA HQ in Nyon where a record 48 international teams are hoping to qualify for the finals in England in July 2021.
— UEFA Women's EURO (@UEFAWomensEURO) February 21, 2019
Besides eight time Euro champions Germany, no other side in Group I has qualified for the European Championship more than once.
With Germany one of the favourites for this summer's World Cup in France, they will be heavy favourites to qualify automatically from the group, but Colin Bell will be relatively happy with the draw, which should give Ireland a good chance of securing second place.
The Ukraine look to be the biggest threats to Ireland's progress, with the eastern Europeans ranked 24th in the world, nine places ahead of Ireland. Both Greece and Montenegro failed to make it out of the preliminary round during qualification for the 2019 World Cup. Neither team will have played a competitive match in over two years by the time the qualification campaign begins later this year.
If Ireland do achieve second place, that could very well secure direct qualification, with the top three runners up going through automatically. Otherwise, a play-off will be required in order to secure a place at the finals in England.
After a strong showing in the 2019 World Cup qualification, which seen them draw with current European Champions The Netherlands, Colin Bell will be hoping to continue his team's impressive performances, as they look to reach their first ever major tournament.
The qualification campaign begins in August of this year and runs until October 2020. Dates for all fixtures in The Girls In Green's group will be confirmed in the coming days.