Ireland Women's U19s begin UEFA Elite phase with Austria clash

Ireland Women's U19s begin UEFA Elite phase with Austria clash

THE Republic of Ireland Women's U19 team commence the Elite Phase of the UEFA WU19 Championships qualifiers against Austria tomorrow in the Dutch town of Ermelo (3.00pm Irish).
4th Apr 2014

THE Republic of Ireland Women's U19 team commence the Elite Phase of the UEFA WU19 Championships qualifiers against Austria tomorrow in the Dutch town of Ermelo (3.00pm Irish).

Head Coach Dave Connell believes his side has the quality to progress from the group stages and reach the finals tournament in Norway this summer.

The Irish have been drawn in a testing group with top seeds Austria first up for Connell's side but he is in confident mood.

"We're going into this tournament with confidence. We have prepared well - the girls have been looking sharp in training and the first game can't come quickly enough for us," he said.

"I'm sure there'll be a few nerves in our squad amongst some of the players but they are young and that's perfectly natural. The girls are looking forward to getting out there and doing their stuff.

"We know the challenge is tough but we've face similar standard opposition before and coped with it. We're hoping this can be our year.

"We've looked at how the Austrians did against Belgium last month when they won 3-1 away. We have a game plan and hopefully we can implement it.

"In these tournaments the main thing is not to lose the first game. If we can get a result we'll be very happy. Hopefully that will be a victory."

Last year the Irish found the elite phase physically demanding due to the cold weather but this time around there are no unexpected hurdles to overcome.

"The only unusual thing is that the first game will be on an artificial surface which isn't ideal. We'll have to get on with it. We did some of our preparation on the AUL artificial surface so we're ready for that," added Connell.

"The weather is fine, it is just a bit overcast."

Ireland's Shannon Carson is unlikely to feature as she recovers from an ankle injury but she should feature later in the competition.

Republic of Ireland Women's U19 squad:
Courtney Brosnan (PDA Slammers, USA)
Brooke Dunne (Peamount United)
Chloe Mustaki (Peamount United)
Ciara O'Connell (Wilton United)
Shannon Carson (St Mary's AFC)
Ciara Rossiter (Wexford Youths Women's AFC)
Keeva Keenan (Shelbourne FC)
Grace Wright (Texas A&M University, USA)
Savannah McCarthy (Listowel Celtic)
Lauren Dwyer (Wexford Youths Women's AFC)
Hayley Nolan (Peamount United)
Amy O'Connor (Wilton United)
Megan Connolly (College Corinthians)
Sarah Rowe (Castlebar Celtic)
Clare Shine (Raheny United)
Jessica Gargan (Peamount United)
Rachel Doyle (DLR Waves)
Ciara McNamara (St Mary's AFC)

FIXTURES

Saturday, April 5
UEFA Women's U19 Elite Qualifying Round Group 5
Austria v Republic of Ireland, Sportpark DVS '33 Ermelo, Ermelo (NED) (3.00pm Irish)

Monday, April 7
UEFA Women's U19 Elite Qualifying Round Group 5
Netherlands v Republic of Ireland, Sportpark DVS '33 Ermelo, Ermelo (NED) (6.30pm Irish)

Thursday, April 10
UEFA Women's U19 Elite Qualifying Round Group 5
Turkey v Republic of Ireland, De Strokel, Harderwijk (NED) (6.00pm Irish)