Euro 2012? It’s all about Euro 2013 now
Turners Cross Stadium. Image: Google Maps
Look. The men lost to Croatia. Let’s be honest: What hope have they against Spain and Italy? It’s best to just pack that all in and re-focus on our other international squad battling it out at the Euros.
Step up, Ireland’s women!
Having regrouped after the Algarve Cup and a friendly against Swtizerland, Ireland manager Sue Ronan last week named her squad to play the next two vital UEFA Euro 2013 qualifiers taking place over the coming 10 days.
Ireland will take on Wales on 16th June and Scotland on 21st June. Both matches will be played at Turner’s Cross in Cork.
Skipper Ciara Grant will earn her 102nd cap and fellow squad fixture Emma Byrne returns to the side after missing that recent friendly with Switzerland due to injury.
Corkonian and Leaving Cert student Denise O’Sullivan – Ireland’s top scorer in the Euro 2013 qualifiers since her debut last September – also takes her place in the squad. She’s joined by Limerick native and former Cork player Marie Curtin. Bus Éireann Women’s National League top scorer Stephanie Roche is also included along with Cherelle Khassal who impressed on her debut appearance in Switzerland.
Sue Ronan said:
The squad is improving all the time and we now have a great mix of youth and experience. We had a good run out against Switzerland last month and that will stand to us for these matches.
We know what we need to do after losing in Edinburgh but we have real quality in this side and the girls are full of belief, If we get a large, vocal home crowd then there is no reason why we can’t get the points that we need from these matches.
Update (15th June at 2:15pm):
Speaking Saturday’s match, Ronan said:
Preparations have gone well this week, the girls have worked hard and they know how we want to play against Wales. The focus of the country has been on the men over in Poland but we can create our own piece of history here and that is what we are working towards. We have a strong group here and with a vocal Cork support behind us I am sure that we can get the boost we need before we play Scotland on Thursday.
In September Ireland will face France and Israel away in their last of the qualifiers. As things stand in the qualifying group stage, Ireland are third in their group (Group 4) on six points, behind the formidable France (18 points) and Scotland (seven points). The scores to date for Ireland have been:
Wales 0-2 Ireland; Ireland 1-3 France; Ireland 2-0 Israel; Scotland 2-1 Ireland.
Republic of Ireland Women’s Senior International Squad
Emma Byrne (Arsenal) (@emmsb30)
Eve Badana (Drexel College)
Grace Moloney (Reading) (@gracemoloney)
Yvonne Tracy (Arsenal) (@wiv03)
Louise Quinn (Peamount United)
Megan Campbell (Raheny United) (@megcam10)
Sophie Perry (Chelsea) (@SophPerry)
Diane Caldwell (Avaldsnes) (@DianeCaldwell7)
Meabh De Burca (Amazon Grimstad) (@MeabhDeBurca)
Niamh Fahey (Arsenal)
Ciara Grant (Arsenal)
Marie Curtin (Fortuna Ålesund) (@MarieCurtin)
Ruesha Littlejohn (Liverpool) (@rueshalj)
Julie Ann Russell (Doncaster Belles) (@Juuulie_Ann)
Aine O’Gorman (Doncaster Belles) (@Aineogor9)
Michele O’Brien (Chicago Red Eleven)
Denise O’Sullivan (Cork) (@OSullivanDenise)
Shannon Smyth (Amazon Grimstad) (@ShannonSmyth)
Cherelle Khassal (Wexford Youths) (@ckhassal)
Stephanie Roche (Peamount United)
UEFA Women’s Euro 2013 qualifiers
Turners Cross, Cork
Ireland v Wales
Saturday, June 16th, 17:00
Ireland v Scotland
Thursday, June 21st, 19:30
Front page image: (22 October 2011) Denise O’Sullivan of Ireland, in action against Moran Fridman of Israel. UEFA Women’s Euro 2013 Qualifier, Republic of Ireland v Israel, Tallaght Stadium, Tallaght, Dublin by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile