Wexford Youths Women ready for huge UEFA Women’s Champions League week
Wexford Youths Women FC start one of the biggest weeks in their history tomorrow as the UEFA Women’s Champions League begins.
The current Continental Tyres Women’s National League Champions face three UEFA Women’s Champions League games this week in the Qualifying Round.
Youths face BIIK-Kazygurt (Kazakhstan), Gintra (Lithuania) and ARF Criuleni (Moldova) at Ferrycarrig Park, the first time Ireland has hosted the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Manager Gary Hunt has admitted the squad are excited for the challenge but knows three games in one week will be a challenge.
Hunt said: “We’re all really excited, not just for ourselves but for the town to be hosting the Champions League is great for Wexford.
“Three games in one week is going to be a challenge. We had the experience last year of course which should help us this year. We’re going to have to manage that to the best of our ability.
“We’ve had a couple of knocks already this season and we’ve got a lot of long-term absentees. However, we’ve got a few players who will come back into the side and should feature throughout the week.”
Long-term club captain Kylie Murphy, who has been with the club since their inaugural season in the National League in 2011, believes hosting European football is a major step forward for Irish Women’s domestic football.
Murphy said: “It’s fantastic for Women’s football in Ireland. For the country to be hosting the Champions League is a major step forward.
“It’s the reason you want to win the Women’s National League, so you can play in the Champions League and the whole squad are really determined not to waste this opportunity.”
Youths are bidding to become the third Irish side to reach the Round of 32 in the Champions League after Peamount United and Raheny United.
Midfielder Linda Douglas hopes as many people as possible head to Ferrycarrig Park over the course of the week to support Youths in their European football adventure.
Douglas said: “It would be great to see as many people as possible at our games. It’s a great opportunity for people to see European football in Wexford.
“Also, the support behind us would seem like an extra player and it would be great for some of our younger players to play in front of a big crowd.
“We saw some great crowds at our games last season and I believe there is a real interest in the game in Wexford.”
The WSU Team bringing you news and updates from the world of women’s football.