Ireland squad named for Algarve Cup
While men’s football went into convulsions yesterday over Fabio Capello’s shock resignation as England manager, this writer learned about the naming of the Irish squad for this year’s Algarve Cup.
Women’s Soccer United and Extratime.ie’s Niall Farrell bring us the news that Sue Ronan has named a 24 woman squad, which includes nine players from the Bus Éireann Women’s National League, all four members of Arsenal, and one player each from Chelsea and Liverpool. Sara Lawlor, Emma Mullin, Ruesha Littlejohn and Sophie Perry make their debuts for their country.
Announcing the squad on Monday last, Ronan said:
I’m looking forward to getting the squad together for the Algarve Cup at the end of the month. We haven’t been together since our European Qualifying game v Israel in October, so the 4 games we will play in this tournament will be vitally important as we prepare for the next game in the group, which is away to Scotland in April.
This time of year is always a problem for us in terms of the match-fitness of our players because some are only in pre-season with their clubs. However for a change it’s the opposite at home where our new Bus Éireann Women’s National League is in full-swing and as a result, our home-based players are in tip-top shape!
Also the quality of the games these players are now getting on a weekly basis is a big plus and can only benefit the international teams in the coming years. Already it has led to Sara Lawlor, Peamount United FC, being named in the squad for the first time. Sara has played underage football for Ireland, but her outstanding performances in the WNL to date for her club, sees her included for the first time at this level.
Taking place at the end of the month and into March, The Algarve Cup will provide an ideal opportunity to field the national side and integrate the team’s new players ahead of the remaining Euro 2013 qualifiers later this year.
The Algarve Cup is a worldwide invitational tournament for national teams. This year, 12 countries will participate. It has taken place each year since 1994. Apart from the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Football, the tournament is one of the most prestigious women’s football events.
Ireland has been placed in Group C, facing Wales, Hungary and hosts Portugal over the course of six days.
The Euro 2013 qualifiers resume in April, with games against Scotland, Wales, France and Israel concluding in September.
The Ireland senior women’s team currently is ranked 28th in the World, in the FIFA international ranking list. The side is ranked 17th in Europe.
Algarve Cup 2012: Ireland fixtures
29 Febr 2012: Hungary v Ireland
2 Mar 2012: Wales v Ireland
5 Mar 2012: Ireland v Portugal
Ireland Squad, Algarve Cup 2012:
Emma Byrne (Arsenal FC)
Eve Badana (Drexel College)
Grace Moloney (Reading FC)
Yvonne Treacy (Arsenal FC)
Louise Quinn (Peamount United FC)
Megan Campbell (Raheny United FC)
Sophie Perry (Chelsea FC)
Grace Murray (Peamount United FC)
Meabh De Burca (Amazon Grimstad FK)
Niamh Fahey (Arsenal FC), Ciara Grant (Arsenal FC)
Dora Gorman (Peamount United FC)
Marie Curtin (Cork Women’s FC)
Julie Ann Russell (Doncaster Belles FC)
Aine O’Gorman (Doncaster Belles FC)
Stephanie Roche (Peamount United FC)
Fiona O’Sullivan (Soyaux ASJ)
Ruesha Littlejohn (Liverpool FC)
Denise O’Sullivan (Cork Women’s FC)
Shannon Smyth (Amazon Grimstad FK)
Emma Mullin (Castlebar Celtic FC)
Michele O’Brien (Chicago Red Eleven FC)
Diane Caldwell (Avaldsnes FC)
Sara Lawlor (Peamount United FC)