Savannah McCarthy excited to bring Ireland Women’s U19s to her home town

Savannah McCarthy is returning to Listowel and she is bringing the Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 19s with her for a friendly against Scotland.

The Kerry native is part of Dave Connell’s squad for two friendly games — the first of which takes place on Tuesday afternoon in Pat Kennedy Park, where she first learned to play football.

Now with UCD Waves in the Continental Tyres Women’s National League, McCarthy is bound to receive a rapturous reception considering her exploits for club and country in recent years.

The powerful defender starred for Connell’s U19 team that reached the semi-finals of the 2014 UEFA European Championships and helped UCD finish as runners-up in the League and FAI Women’s Cup.

She is now excited about what is coming next, starting with an international game in her home town.

“It’s great to be playing this game in Listowel because it’s my home town, my old club, my old management team, and all of my family and friends will there,” said McCarthy.

“Listowel were my first club. I was six years old when I first went down there and I played with them right up until last year when I left for UCD Waves. I still go back quite a lot to train, so it will be like I never left.

“It’s really exciting to be hosting an international game though. The facilites are great, the people there are amazing, and there is going to be a big crowd. For me, it’s going to be good too, but for my team-mates as well.”

Connell intends to use the games in Listowel and Tulla, County Clare as preparation for the upcoming UEFA First Phase qualifiers in Slovenia as they target a place in next summer’s finals.

As one of the team’s senior players, McCarthy is bound to play a key role in that bid to reach the tournament in Slovakia and it is a challenge that she is relishing having already played (and scored) in a finals.

“My aim is to qualify for the finals. This will be my last year with the Under 19s, so I want to finish with them on a high,” said McCarthy.

“I’ve seen the good side of playing for the Under 19s by qualifying for the finals in Norway in 2014 and also the bad side when we didn’t get out of first phase qualifiers last year. So I know how important every game will be.

“You can’t underestimate any team at this level because you will get punished. We just have to work hard on the training pitch and bring that into games to produce the kind of results that we want.”

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND WOMEN’S U19 SQUAD

Amanda McQuillan (Shelbourne Ladies FC)
Nadine Maher (Shelbourne Ladies FC)
Nicole Gordon (Greencastle FC)
Fiona Donnelly (Shelbourne Ladies FC)
Niamh Nelson (San Diego Surf)
Chloe Moloney (Connolly Celtic FC)
Lauren Kealy (Peamount United FC)
Savannah McCarthy (UCD Waves)
Keeva Keenan (Shelbourne Ladies FC)
Emma Byrne (Peamount United FC)
Jamie Finn (Shelbourne Ladies FC)
Evelyn Daly (Lakewood FC)
Lucy McCartan (Peamount United FC)
Erin Best (Peamount United FC)
Sarah Jane McDonald (Greencastle FC)
Sophie Watters (Shelbourne Ladies FC)
Sarah McKevitt (Killenaule FC)
Zoe McGlynn (Sion Swifts FC)
Dearbhaile Beirne (Shelbourne Ladies FC)
Eleanor Ryan Doyle (UCD Waves)

FIXTURES

Tuesday, August 18
Republic of Ireland v Scotland, Pat Kennedy Park, Listowel (6.30pm)

Thursday, August 20
Republic of Ireland v Scotland, Tulla, Co Clare (11am)

Source: FAI.ie

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