New year group, new team, new season: The Germany U21 national team will begin their qualifying campaign for the U21 EUROs in Georgia and Romania (9 June – 2 July 2023) with two away games. On 2 September at 19:00 CEST, the reigning European champions take on San Marino in Serravalle, before travelling to Riga to face Latvia on 7 September. The remaining teams in qualifying Group B are Poland, Hungary and Israel.
Germany’s squad for the two imminent international fixtures includes six players who were part of the recent U21 EURO squad in Hungary and Slovenia: Armel Bella Kotchap (VfL Bochum), Lars Lukas Mai (SV Werder Bremen), Malick Thiaw (FC Schalke 04), Shinta Appelkamp (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Jonathan Burkardt (1. FSV Mainz 05) and Youssoufa Moukoko (Borussia Dortmund). Roberto Massimo (VfB Stuttgart), Jean-Manuel Mbom (SV Werder Bremen) and Yannick Keitel (SC Freiburg) have all previously featured in U21 squads. Luca Plogmann (SV Werder Bremen) was in the squad for the Olympics in Tokyo.
Head coach Stefan Kuntz has named a total of 21 players born between 2000 and 2004. 16 of the players are yet to make their debut for the U21s, including Bella Kotchap, Appelkamp, Thiaw and Moukoko, who all made the championship winning squad this summer, and current Bundesliga player Angelo Stiller (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim).
"The new year group has a lot of potential," said Stefan Kuntz, "We hope the lads can have a similarly successful U21 experience as their predecessors. We will be using the next few days to try and get the players familiar with the U21 DNA, because we want to continue showing heart on the pitch. For this reason, I am pleased that some of the players were at the EUROs this summer and can pick up where they left off."
The team will meet on Sunday evening in Frankfurt and travel to Rimini the following morning, where they will stay until 5 September before moving on to Riga for the game. On 7 October, the U21s have their first qualifier of the season on home soil in Paderborn against Israel.