Rachael Kelly

Ireland WU17: Rachael Kelly ready to grab “once in a lifetime opportunity”

Colin Bell’s side begin their Elite Round against Iceland

The Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-17 squad are continuing their preparations in Germany ahead of the start of the 2018 UEFA Women’s Under-17 Championship Elite Round.

After wins over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and Greece in the Qualifying Round, Ireland have been drawn in Iceland, Azerbaijan and hosts Germany.

With only one qualification space for May’s 2018 UEFA Women’s Under-17 Championship in Lithuania up for grabs from Group 7, the team will need a positive start against Iceland on Thursday.

Shelbourne Ladies goalkeeper Rachael Kelly kept three clean sheets in the Qualifying Round, and she knows the team have a tough task in reaching the Finals.

Speaking to FAI TV as part of the Club & Country Series, Kelly said the chance to play in the European Championships is a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.

“With the talent and the hard work we have all put in throughout the year and over the last few weeks, it’s just going to be great [in Germany]. I think we’re going to get through it.”

The team begin their Elite Round campaign against Iceland on Thursday afternoon, in Greifswald’s Volsstadion.

2018 UEFA Women’s Under-17 Championship Elite Round

Iceland v Republic of Ireland, Volksstadion Greifswald, Greifswald, 3pm (2pm Irish time)

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