So Ireland finished 2nd in their group, just behind Russia, to make it into the playoffs for the European Championships next June in Poland/Ukraine.
The only thing stopping them from qualifying is 2 games against Estonia. Ireland are currently ranked 29th in the world, and Estonia are ranked 58th. I'd say the majority of people would expect Ireland to qualify.
With that in mind, here's a look at the possible groups we could get, once the draw is made in December:
Croatia (I think Croatia need to win both playoff matches to move up the rankings. If they draw one, they may be in Pot C)
Portugal (assuming they beat Bosnia in the playoffs, otherwise Denmark will be here)
Denmark (If Portugal lost to Bosnia, Denmark will go up to Pot C, and Bosnia will be here)
France (Will move to Pot C if both Portugal and Croatia don't qualify)
As you can see, Ireland are in the bottom pot. This means they will get 1 team from Pot A, Pot B and Pot C. Hopefully that will involve one of the hosts from Pot A, who are ranked 60 (Ukraine) and 65 (Poland) in the world. The team to avoid from Pot B is Germany, who are definitely one of the hot favourites to win the tournament.
The playoffs games take place on November 11th and November 15th, and I can't bloody wait!
I'm even starting to think about getting time off work next June, even though I don't have a job yet!
PS, for anyone going to Estonia for the first leg, you might need to know some of the local language, so here's a little snippet:
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