Will Smallbone and Ireland’s under-21s now know they must get past Israel if they are to qualify for the Euros for the first time.

Since the inception of the tournament in 1978, the Irish have either failed to qualify or failed to enter a side.

With the tournament held every two years, it means Ireland have missed out on 23 consecutive Euros, with a total of 17 unsuccessful qualifying campaigns.

The Irish will play Israel over two legs in a play-off in September, after they finished second in their qualifying group.

For the second campaign in a row Ireland finished behind group winners Italy, edging past Sweden by a single point.

In contrast, Israel finished behind Germany in Group B, with the same final points total of 19 as Ireland.

Ireland will host Israel prior to flying over to the Middle East for the second-leg for a spot in the tournament set to be held in Romania and Georgia.

Games will be hosted between Monday, September 19, and Tuesday, September 27.

Smallbone featured five times in Ireland's qualifying campaign, after missing out on the first two international windows as he was still recovering from an ACL rupture.

The midfielder contributed three goals and an assist, starting on all five of his appearances.

In total, Smallbone has made six appearances for Ireland under-21s, after previous representing the country at under-18 and under-19 level.

Play-off ties - Ties between 19 and 27 September, schedule to be confirmed

• Croatia vs Denmark

• Slovakia vs Ukraine

• Republic of Ireland vs Israel

• Iceland vs Czech Republic

Already Qualified:

Belgium, England, France, Georgia (hosts), Germany (holders), Italy, Portugal, Netherlands, Norway, Romania (hosts), Spain, Switzerland (best runners-up)