Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team manager Sue Ronan has named a squad of 20 players for this month’s back to back World Cup qualifying games against Croatia and Russia.
Ireland face Croatia at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday, June 14, before heading to play Russia on Thursday, June 19, in Krasnoarmeysk, which is 60 kilometres outside Moscow.
Arsenal midfielder and former FAI Women’s International Player of the Year, Niamh Fahey, returns to the squad for a competitive fixture for the first time since her cruciate ligament injury over a year ago. There is also a recall for Mary Therese McDonnell who was last capped 12 months ago in the friendly against Austria and has been unavailable for selection until now.
“It’s a big boost to be able to name Niamh and MT in the squad. They are both very experienced and it will be a big help to the younger players to have them back. It’s been a long road back from injury for Niamh but she has started playing with Arsenal in recent weeks and played 90 minutes in last Sunday’s English Women’s FA Cup Final,” said Ronan, who will once again have to plan without defender Megan Campbell, who underwent surgery last month after breaking a bone in her foot.
Last month’s 3-1 defeat at home to second seeds Russia severely dented Ireland’s chances of finishing second in Group 1 to runaway leaders Germany but Ronan wants her side to amass as many points as they can over the second half campaign.
“We picked up seven points from our first five games against the rest of the teams in group so we’d like to equal or better that when we face them all again over the next four months,” said Ronan who admitted that Croatia will present a stern test.
“Croatia are going to be very tough. We needed an injury time goal to earn a point when we played them last September and their results and performances since then have been very good. They were unlucky to lose 1-0 away to Russia and then beat Slovenia last month. Our focus is completely on that game at this stage and we will worry about Russia once the final whistle goes on Saturday week in Tallaght.”
The FIFA World Cup qualifier against Croatia will take place at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday, June 14, with a 6pm kick-off. Admission is €5 for adults and €2 for students/U16s. The game away to Russia is on Thursday, June 19, with a 1pm (Irish time) kick-off.
Republic of Ireland squad to play Croatia and Russia:
Emma Byrne (Arsenal),
Niamh Reid-Burke (Raheny United).
Sophie Perry (Millwall),
Meabh de Burca (Galway WFC),
Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United),
Diane Caldwell (Avaldsnes),
Karen Duggan (Peamount United),
Mary Therese McDonnell (Unattached).
Julie Ann Russell (Peamount United),
Ciara Grant (Raheny United),
Siobhan Killeen (Raheny United),
Dora Gorman (Peamount United),
Shannon Smyth (Amazon Grimstad),
Rachel Graham (Raheny United),
Niamh Fahey (Arsenal).
Fiona O’Sullivan (SC Frieburg),
Denise O’Sullivan (Glasgow City),
Stephanie Roche (Peamount United),
Ruesha Littlejohn (Sandviken),
Áine O’Gorman (Peamount United).
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 qualifying Results & Fixtures
Republic of Ireland WNT Recent Results
March 6, 2013 – Cyprus Cup: Republic of Ireland 5 Northern Ireland 1
March 8, 2013 – Cyprus Cup: Republic of Ireland 1 South Africa 0
March 11, 2013 – Cyprus Cup: Republic of Ireland 0 South Korea 0
March 13, 2013 – Cyprus Cup: Republic of Ireland 0 Finland 1
June 18, 2013 – Friendly: Republic of Ireland 2 Austria 2
September 22, 2013 – FIFA World Cup: Republic of Ireland 2 Slovakia 0
September 26, 2013 – FIFA World Cup: Croatia 1 Republic of Ireland 1
October 30, 2013 – FIFA World Cup: Slovenia 0 Republic of Ireland 3
March 5, 2014 – Cyprus Cup: New Zealand 1 Republic of Ireland 1
March 7, 2014 – Cyprus Cup: Republic of Ireland 1 South Korea 1
March 10, 2014 – Cyprus Cup: Switzerland 1 Republic of Ireland 2
March 12, 2014 – Cyprus Cup: Canada 2 Republic of Ireland 1
April 5 2014 – FIFA World Cup: Republic of Ireland 2 Germany 3
May 7 2014 – FIFA World Cup: Republic of Ireland 1 Russia 3
June 14 2014 – FIFA World Cup: Republic of Ireland v Croatia
June 19 201 -, FIFA World Cup: Russia v Republic of Ireland
August 20 2014 – FIFA World Cup: Republic of Ireland v Slovenia
September 13 2014 – FIFA World Cup: Slovakia v Republic of Ireland
September 17 2014 – FIFA World Cup: Germany v Republic of Ireland
FIFA World Cup Qualifying Tournament
Group 1 Table
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