Megan Campbell

A delighted Megan Campbell returned to training with the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team for the first time since March.

The 21-year-old from Drogheda missed the WNT’s last four matches because of a foot injury but is now back to full fitness and looking forward to Saturday afternoon’s World Cup qualifier against Slovakia in Senec, just outside the capital Bratislava.

“It is really nice to be back in with the girls and back training,” said Campbell who revealed that she was playing through the pain barrier when she supplied two assists, via long throws, in her international, the heart-breaking 3-2 defeat by Germany in Tallaght.

“It (the injury) was just a progression of overuse of my foot. While it was sore, I just kept playing on it. Obviously you want to play as much as you can so, being silly, I played on for about six weeks and unfortunately it just got worse,” said Campbell.

The injury certainly didn’t affect Campbell’s performances and she is looking to continue where she left off when Ireland face Slovakia on Saturday by picking up three points and closing the gap on second place Russia. Ireland still have an outside chance of taking second place but need to win their final two games against Germany and Slovakia and hope Russia pick up no more than a point from their final two games against Germans and Croatia.

“I think we can definitely get a win out of the game. I think we need to, in order to go into the Germany game with good confidence. We have a good squad of players and, no matter who is starting, it’s always going to be a good show from us,” said Campbell who has already played four games for Florida State University since the start of the season.

The WNT squad travelled to Slovakia with UCD Waves midfielder Ciara Grant a late call up from the stand-by list after Diane Caldwell was forced to pull out because of concussion which was sustained while playing for her Norwegian club Avaldsnes at the weekend.

Saturday’ s match against Slovakia takes place at the Slovakia Football Federation’s National Training Centre in Senec (2.30pm Irish time) while the game against Germany will be played on Wednesday, September 17 in the Albstadion, Heidenheim (5.30pm Irish time).

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Niamh Reid-Burke (Raheny United). Defenders: Áine O’Gorman (UCD Waves), Sophie Perry (Millwall), Meabh de Burca (Galway WFC), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Niamh Fahey (Arsenal), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves), Megan Campbell (Florida State University). Midfielders: Julie Ann Russell (UCD Waves), Siobhan Killeen (Raheny United), Dora Gorman (UCD Waves), Ciara Grant (UCD Waves), Shannon Smyth (Amazon Grimstad). Forwards: Fiona O’Sullivan (Notts County), Denise O’Sullivan (Glasgow City), Stephanie Roche (ASPTT Albi), Ruesha Littlejohn (Sandviken).

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