Cooke out of Croatia clash
Raheny United defender Seana Cooke is out of the Republic of Ireland's Women's World Cup qualifier against Croatia on Thursday in Sinj.
The 25-year-old was stretched off and taken to hospital after sustaining an ankle injury in yesterday's 2-0 win over Slovakia. She was subsequently released from hospital on Sunday evening but ruled out of the game.
Ireland manager Sue Ronan has called up Peamount United's Karen Duggan to replace Cooke, who only recently returned to action after a foot injury sustained during the World Student Games in Russia last July.
"Seana is a big loss because she had really bounced back after her injury at the World Students Games. I've called up Karen Duggan who was in the squad for the Slovakia game and initially wasn't able to travel because of work commitments. However, she has managed to get permission to join up with us and that's a nice boost for us," said Ronan.
The Irish squad began their journey to Croatia today with a flight to London where they will overnight before catching an early morning flight to Split and the mood is upbeat after getting the World Cup campaign off to a winning start.
"We had said beforehand that we needed to start with a win and it was great to get that. It was a tough match but we prepared well for it and produced an excellent performance in what were very demanding conditions," said Ronan.
Ireland's only injury concern is defender Megan Campbell who shipped a heavy tackle late on in the Slovakia game and sustained a shin bone injury. She played through the pain barrier in the final few minutes as all three substitutes had been used and, although she turned up at Dublin Airport on crutches, Campbell is confident of being fit for Thursday.
"The crutches are just precaution. I've been icing my injury regularly since the game and although it's still a bit sore I'm hopeful it will have cleared up before Thursday. It just needs TLC," said Campbell
The 20-year-old from Drogheda, who won the Bus Éireann Women's National League and the FAI Umbro Women's Senior Cup with Raheny United last season, is now based in America having taken up a soccer scholarship at Florida State University in Tallahassee
"I'm loving it. It's a pretty busy athletic college and the women's soccer programme is highly rated. We've started the season well and as a team we have really gelled. It's great," said Campbell who won her 16h cap against Slovakia.
"It was a brilliant start for us to beat Slovakia. We were very solid defensively and tried to build from the back. We got two great goals and hopefully we can now go and get another three points against Croatia," added Campbell.
Republic of Ireland Women's National Team Squad (v Slovakia): Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Grace Moloney (Reading), Yvonne Tracy (Arsenal), Megan Campbell (Florida State University), Sophie Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion), Meadbh De Burca (Eskilstuna United), Diane Caldwell (Avaldsness), Julie Ann Russell (Peamount United), Ciara Grant (Peamount United), Karen Duggan (Peamount United), Rachel Graham (Raheny United), Shannon Smyth (Amazon Grimstad), Dora Gorman (Peamount United), Fiona O'Sullivan (SC Frieburg), Denise O'Sullivan (Glasgow City), Sara Lawlor (Peamount United), Ruesha Littlejohn (Glasgow City), AIne O'Gorman (Peamount United).