Zoe Green

Green insists teamwork key for Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 17s.

The Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 17s take on Turkey in their final Qualifying Round game in the UEFA European Championships on Tuesday.

Dave Bell’s team are top of Group 1 courtesy of victories over Ukraine and Andorra and they are hoping to overcome their hosts in Izmir and secure a place in the Elite Round.

The long-term target is reaching next summer’s finals tournament in Belarus but defender Zoe Green says that the team are firmly focused on their next game because they know how difficult it will be.

In order to come out of that game with the three points Green insists Ireland must rely on the chemistry that the squad has developed through their teamwork on and off the pitch.

“You need to have a well-bonded team so that everyone supports each other and it’s not just one player on their own. We stick tight together and if someone isn’t playing well we pick them up and help them,” said Green.

“The Turkey game is going to be tough but we want to win it. We want to keep a clean sheet and we want to top the group and do it by sticking together.”

Green, who plays her club football with Lagan Harps, has been buoyed by the presence of her family in Turkey for the games, but she feels that the most encouraging aspect of the past week has been the support of her team-mates.

It is that reason why Green is excited about Tuesday’s game. She knows how hard the team has worked in training so it’s all about heeding the advice of Bell and collecting a third straight win.

“It’s important that we stay tight as a back five unit. We like to play out from the back too but we have to stay focused on defending, working together as a unit, and doing our best in our final game against Turkey,” said Green.

“Dave (Bell) does a lot of work with us in training about movement and he encourages us as full-backs to push forward as much as possible to get up to support the forwards. We work hard in training and we want to bring that into the games.

“We want to give something back to Dave for all of his work with us and prove that we are good enough to play for Ireland at this level and put into practice what we worked on in training.”

FIXTURES:

Republic of Ireland 3-0 Ukraine, Thursday, October 15, Izmir
Republic of Ireland 7-0 Andorra, Saturday, October 17, Izmir
Turkey v Republic of Ireland, Tuesday, October 20, Izmir, KO 13:30

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