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Eyes turn to Norway as Welsh adventure ends

Just 21 days after France were crowned in Wales, 44 teams will line up for the first qualifying round on the road to Norway and the 2014 Women's Under-19 final tournament.

Eyes turn to Norway as Welsh adventure ends
Eyes turn to Norway as Welsh adventure ends ©UEFA.com

The dust has barely settled on the 2013 finals before, for 44 teams, attention turns to the road to Norway and the 2014 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship, with qualifying kicking off in three weeks.

Five of the eight teams that contested this summer's tournament will be in action between 21 and 26 September. Iceland are among holders France's opponents while Sweden, the 2012 winners, face a stiff assignment in Group 3 with Estonia, Lithuania and a Portugal side that reached last year's semi-finals.

Wales must come through a section that includes 2005 winners Russia if they are to return to the finals stage while Finland host Group 4 knowing their sternest test will likely come from the Czech Republic. Denmark have perhaps the most daunting programme, travelling to the Republic of Ireland to meet the up-and-coming home team, Greece and Kazakhstan.

It will be a tough challenge too for Malta, one of three newcomers in a record field of 48 this season. They have been matched with Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as recent finalists Serbia and the Netherlands in Group 6. Montenegro take on Belgium while the other debutant, Albania, will encounter 2008 champions Italy during the mini-tournaments which are held over six days. It is Albania's debut in any women's event.

Championship hosts Norway have a bye through qualifying, while top seeds Germany, England and Spain enter at the second stage scheduled from 5 to 10 April 2014. The 11 group winners and ten best runners-up will join them there, with seven teams eventually qualifying for next July's final tournament on Norwegian soil.

First qualifying round draw
Group 1: Austria*, Croatia, Israel, Azerbaijan

Group 2: Denmark, Republic of Ireland*, Greece, Kazakhstan

Group 3: Sweden, Portugal, Estonia, Lithuania*

Group 4: Czech Republic, Finland*, Faroe Islands, Moldova

Group 5: Russia, Wales, Cyprus, Belarus*

Group 6: Netherlands, Serbia*, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Malta

Group 7: Italy, Poland, Slovenia*, Albania

Group 8: Scotland, Romania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Georgia

Group 9: France, Iceland, Slovakia, Bulgaria*

Group 10: Belgium, Hungary*, Turkey, Montenegro

Group 11: Switzerland, Ukraine, Northern Ireland, Latvia*