Republic of Ireland WU17s ready for Euro Finals opener
Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 17 head coach Dave Connell insists his team are ready to kick off their UEFA Women’s U17 European Championships in Iceland tomorrow.
After securing their place at the eight-team finals following six games unbeaten in qualifying, Ireland will take on France at 2pm Irish time in Kopavogur — a suburb of Reykjavik.
Having left no stone unturned in preparing for the tournament, Connell — and his diligent backroom team — is confident that his players can get off to a winning start in Group B.
“There’s quite a few girls here who have stepped up to the mark in the last couple of campaigns and that got us to a finals, so we’re looking forward to see how they perform on the big stage and they’re looking forward to it as well,” said Connell.
“It’s been good preparation, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it transfers into the game against France. But we’re very, very happy with our preparations and we feel that it was the right way to go and it will help us to get results.”
Connell knows all about this level having guided the Women’s U19 team to the semi-finals of last summer’s UEFA European Championships in Norway. Now, he is hoping to go one step further.
“What we did last year we’re doing exactly the same with this bunch of girls and we’re hoping that it will take us to another semi-final, if not final and maybe go one step further this time,” said Connell.
“But it’s concentrating on France first and trying to get a good result there and the momentum to pull us into the next game against Switzerland and then the final group game against Norway. So our target is to get out of the group, into a semi-final, and take it from there.”
There are no injury concerns ahead of the game with every player having trained since arriving in Iceland, while Jessica Nolan and Heather Payne will be hoping to win their first caps at this level.
Known as the Ice Queens, this team are aiming to collect the three points in their opening fixture and get off to the best possible start in Iceland.
UEFA European Championship Finals – Republic of Ireland’s Fixtures
22/06/2015: Republic of Ireland v France (Korinn, Kopavogur, Iceland; KO 2pm Irish Time)
25/06/2015: Republic of Ireland v Switzerland (Laugardalsvollur, Reykjavik, Iceland; KO 2pm Irish Time)
28/06/2015: Norway v Republic of Ireland (Korinn, Kopavogur, Iceland; KO 2pm Irish Time)
View full UEFA European Championship Finals fixtures.
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