DFB coach Stefan Kuntz has announced his squad for the first two games of the new season against Mexico in Fürth on 7th September, and Ireland in Dublin on 11th September. There are four debutants in the squad with Felix Uduokhai (VfL Wolfsburg), Arne Maier, Maxi Mittelstädt (both Hertha BSC) and Marco Richter (FC Augsburg) all chosen to be part of the 23-man squad for the very first time. Luca Waldschmidt (SC Freiburg) returns to the team, with his last call-up being in October 2017.
When talking about the upcoming games in September, as well as two final home games against Norway and Ireland in October, Stefan Kuntz said, “some difficult challenges lie ahead. Mexico are a very strong opponent for a friendly. I want to use the game to get to learn a bit more about my players. After that, we have three important Euros qualifiers. We want to go into the game against Ireland feeling fit and strong.”
Jonathan Tah and Thilo Kehrer have been promoted to the senior team for the games against France and Peru. “I have lost both of my captains, which does not make the task any easier. This aside, I am delighted for them both and wish them all the best. It is now our job to promote the U21 players to the first team.”
The team will meet in Herzogenaurach on Monday 3rd September, where they will have their first training session in the evening. Kuntz and his players will then visit amateur side ASV Veitsbronn-Siegelsdorf on Thursday 6th September and hold a training session with their youth players. A public training session will then be found in the evening at the Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer.
The U21s currently top Group 5 in the Euros qualifiers, with 16 points from seven games, closely followed by Ireland who have three points less, however with a game in a hand. The nine group winners automatically qualify for the finals. The four best runners-up will play two play-off games to decide the final spots for the 2019 European Championship in Italy and San Marino.