Irish Girls Excel in UEFA Championship
Tonight (Tues June 22nd) sees the Irish Under 17 girls soccer team make history as they take on the might of Germany in the semi-finals of the UEFA Championship. This is no small achievement and the entire team and couching staff deserve a great deal of credit for some wonderful results, including a win over Sweden in April.
Germany are undoubtedly the best country when it comes to ladies soccer, the senior team have won the Woman’s Euro no less than 7 times, 5 of them in a row. The girls have followed suit and are unbeaten at this level since the competitions began, two years ago. So you can see the task ahead of our girls is not an easy one by any means.
Our team are not giving up so easy however, the captain, Dora Gorman, said:
Everybody except the people involved with this squad in Ireland were surprised to see us qualify for the UEFA Championship finals. It was a fantastic achievement to beat Sweden in the qualifiers in the manner in which we did but ever since those qualifiers, the whole squad have been working very hard on improving our game with a number of training camps and friendly games. We all know that we are capable of improving on our performances in the qualifying games and the recent 4-0 victory over England was further evidence that we are continually improving
Nice little mention of the win over England there Dora, well done
Even if they don’t manage to get to the final, there is still a massive prize if they manage to win the third place play off, to be held on Saturday. September sees Trinidad and Tobago hosting the FIFA Women’s U17 World Cup and the top three teams in the Euro’s go through. That is no small incentive and would be a wonderful experience for all the “Girls in Green”. The other semi final is between the Netherlands and Spain so the Irish have every chance and we’re all cheering them on.
Manager Noel King is getting this squad fired up saying:
Everybody involved in women’s football across Europe will expect nothing other than a fourth-place finish for the Irish in this tournament…..However, in my opinion the squad is fully prepared and capable of causing more shocks. They’ve proven they’re capable of raising their game and while I’m proud of our qualification, that is not the end of our ambition. We are not going there to make up the numbers; we’re there on merit and prepared to fight all the way to the final.
That’s the ticket. They are there on merit and why shouldn’t they go into the game aiming for a win? Let’s hope the girls make it to the final and, if not, then third place is a marvelous achievement. We’ll let you know the result as soon as we find out. Go girls!
Update 1: The match is not being broadcast but a report will be available on fai.ie afterwards.
Update 2:They did it!!! One nil! more. Well done to the team, who have become the first team to beat Germany at this level, and who now to go into the final against Spain.
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