New edition gets under way
The first qualifying round of the 2004/05 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship gets under way this week.
Forty nations were divided into ten groups of four teams for the first qualifying round draw. The eventual group winners, runners-up and the six best third-placed teams will progress to the second qualifying round, where they will join Germany and Norway, the two highest-ranked teams and Hungary, the hosts.
All eyes will be on Spain, who produced one of the great shocks in the history of UEFA competition to defeat Germany in this summer's final in Helsinki. Ignacio Quereda's team open their campaign on 28 September against F.Y.R. Macedonia, the same day as the Czech Republic tackle Northern Ireland in Group 10's other fixture.
Finland qualified automatically as hosts for the 2003/04 final tournament, but will have to negotiate the qualifying stages this time around. The Finns are in Group 8 along with Serbia and Montenegro, Portugal and Slovakia.
Despite falling at the first hurdle in Finland, France are again likely to be among the teams to beat in Hungary. First, however, they will have to get past Denmark, Azerbaijan and Lithuania in Group 3 and then the second qualifying round. Perhaps the most eye-catching game of this stage is Italy versus Sweden, with Estonia and Armenia completing Group 7.
First Qualifying Round
| Group 1 || Group 2 || Group 3 || Group 4 || Group 5
| Austria || Belarus || Denmark || Wales || Israel |
| Netherlands || Ukraine || France || England || Russia |
| Slovenia || Moldova || Azerbaijan || Romania || Kazakhstan |
| Bosnia-Herzegovina || Scotland || Lithuania || Bulgaria || Latvia || Group 6 || Group 7 || Group 8 || Group 9 || Group 10
| Switzerland || Italy || Finland || Belgium || Czech Republic |
| Iceland || Sweden || Serbia and Montenegro || Poland || Spain |
| Greece || Armenia || Portugal || Croatia || Northern Ireland |
| Republic of Ireland || Estonia || Slovakia || Faroe Islands || F.Y.R. Macedonia |