Sue Ronan

Sue Ronan learns a lot from US trip.

The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team return home today from their week in California with manager Sue Ronan revealing that she learned a lot from the squad’s first get-together of 2016.

The side had four training sessions, a practice match and friendly international over six days while Ronan and her coaching staff also took the opportunity to talk individually to each of the 23 players involved.

“It’s been a good week and we learned a lot of things that will assist us in preparing for the resumption of the EURO 2017 qualifiers in April. The excellent weather meant we could do a lot of good work on the training pitch and the games allowed me see all 22 players in action against top class opposition, which is very important.” said Ronan.

Although Saturday’s match in San Diego against USA ended in a 5-0 defeat, Ronan felt that playing the World Champions and World No.1 ranked side will benefit her players in the long-term.

“It was a great experience for the team to play in front of a crowd of 23,000 and against players of the quality of Hope Solo, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd. It was even more difficult for us given the lack of playing time both our foreign-based and home-based players have had since November and that rustiness certainly showed in the first half on Saturday. But I think we showed a lot of character in the second-half, it would have been very easy for heads to drop.”

Ronan also expressed satisfaction with Monday’s training game against the USA U23 squad where everybody got game-time with the exception of Katie McCabe, Megan Campbell, Ruesha Littlejohn and Karen Duggan who were carrying knocks and goalkeeper Eve Badana who had been drafted in as cover for Niamh Reid Burke after Emma Byrne left camp early to return to England to commence her UEFA A Licence.

“It was a good run-out and I got to see a lot of the younger players in action against good quality opposition. Again, we found out a lot and that will help when I sit down to select the squad for the Cyprus Cup,” said Ronan.

The members of the Women’s National Team Squad in the USA were:
Goalkeepers: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Niamh Reid Burke (Shelbourne), Eva Badana (Unattached).
Defenders: Meabh De Burca (Galway), Megan Campbell (Unattached), Jessica Gleeson (Wexford Youths), Savannah McCarthy (Galway), Aine O’Gorman (UCD Waves), Sophie Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Ciara Rossiter (Wexford Youths).
Midfielders: Diane Caldwell (Unattached), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves), Siobhan Killeen (Shelbourne), Ruesha Littlejohn (Glasgow City), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Denise O’Sullivan (Glasgow City), Julie Ann Russell (UCD Waves).
Forwards: Megan Connolly (Florida State University), Fiona O’Sullivan (Unattached), Stephanie Roche (Sunderland), Clare Shine (Glasgow City).

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