Although the Irish have only one point from their opening two games they could still top the group if results go their way but their focus is more about making amends for the games against Hungary and Slovakia where they dominated in terms of possession and chances but failed to win.
Wexford Youths’ Women’s AFC attacker Carol Breen admits that the team are fully aware of where it went wrong in the last two games and are going into the Austria game determined to put things right.
“It’s been pretty disappointing especially after dominating the two teams and having high levels of possession. We haven’t been taking our chances but we have been working on that in training so hopefully we can put that into practice tomorrow and really show everybody what we can do. I don’t think we have shown what we can do, so it would be nice to get a win tomorrow and push on for the last game on Wednesday,” said Breen.
Having been an underage international ten years ago, the 29-year-old won her first senior cap on Friday when she came on as a second-half substitute and she admits that she is still pinching herself at the way this season has gone for her after a long absence from the sport.
“I was out of soccer for a long time as after college I went backpacking in Australia for a couple of years and didn’t play for five or six years as I concentrated mainly on Aussie Rules and Gaelic Football. I came back to Ireland from Canada last March and played summer league football with Benfica, my local club in Waterford. I had heard about the Women’s National League and wanted to give it a try so I went up to Wexford Youths for pre-season and it just took off from there.”
It certainly did. She quickly established herself in the Wexford team and has helped them into pole position in the Continental Tyres Women’s National League with four games to go. Along the way she has won a Player of the Month Award, earned her first senior international call-up when joined the squad for the Winter Training Camp in La Manga and has now won her first cap.
“It’s been a crazy year but it has been great getting back into soccer. I didn’t expect things to go so well but so far so good. I was a bit nervous heading to Spain but excited as well. It was a good few days and a chance to get to know a few of the girls, play a bit of football and see the standard. At this level it is obviously a lot quicker than what I am use to so it is good to see how fast international football is.
“It was exciting to get my first cap on Friday. Sue said to go and warm up and get ready to go on. I didn’t really have time to get nervous because I thought all the subs had been made.
Obviously I would like to get a couple more minutes on the pitch and maybe try and have a positive impact. We have got another two games so hopefully I will get a bit more time on the pitch and hopefully do something good.”
Emma Beckett has returned home after a recurrence of the groin injury which kept her out of the opening game against Hungary.
For Sue Ronan’s thoughts on tomorrow’s game against Austria please go to https://vimeo.com/121589018