The 32nd of UEFA's 53 nations to appear in the Under-17 finals since the category was introducted in 2001/02, Slovenia's side are the first from the country to play in such a European tournament as hosts.
Miloš Kostič's side have been playing together for a couple of years and as U16s they drew with France and England. In September they defeated a Poland team that, like Les Mini-Bleus, was later to qualify for the finals, developing a real team spirit and desire. Kostić, a national youth coach for eight years, has form, having led Slovenia to the U19 finals in 2009, and his selection of players has included the sons of 'golden generation' members Zlatko Zahovič and Mladen Rudonja.
"Every generation in Slovenia in the last couple of years has produced one or two really great players," Kostič said. "Definitely this might also happen at this EURO, where the team will be even more motivated because of the home support from the stands. Slovenia's aim is definitely to travel to Ljubljana, which requires a top-two group finish." If so, the semi-final would be the squad's first appearance in Ljubljana.
Friendly results in 2011/12: Austria 0-3 (a, 30/08), Scotland 2-2 (n, 01/09), Croatia 0-2 (n, 03/09), Poland 0-1 (h, 20/09), Poland 2-0 (h, 22/09), Albania 1-0 (a, 21/02), Albania 1-1 (a, 23/02), Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0 (h, 08/03)
Bian Paul Šauperl (forward, NK Maribor), Emir Dautovič, (defender, NK Maribor), Gregor Zabret (goalkeeper, NK Domžale)
Coach: Miloš Kostič
Date of birth: 23 November 1971
Playing career: NK Svoboda, NK Gorica, NK Primorje, NK Olimpija
Coaching career: ONS Ljubljana, Slovenia U16/U17/U18/U19
After a successful playing career Kostič began studying in preparation for a move into coaching, which came before his 30th birthday. Between 2000 and 2008 he coached at ONS Ljubljana while also working as a football trainer at a local high school. In 2004 he began assisting the Slovenian national teams from U16 level through to the U21 side before moving in April 2008 to take charge of the squad that was to qualify for the 2009 UEFA European U19 Championship. He subsquently took over the selection preparing for the 2012 U17 finals as hosts.
UEFA European Under-17 Championship best
First finals appearance
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