Ireland WU17: Bell to pick from full squad for opener


Ireland WU17: Bell to pick from full squad for opener

Colin Bell has a full squad to choose from ahead of his Republic of Ireland Women's Under-17 side's first game in the UEFA European Championships Elite Round on Wednesday.
19th Mar 2019

All players are fit and ready for selection for the game against Norway at the National Performance Centre in Edinburgh, which kicks off at 17:30.

Speaking after Tuesday's training session at the match venue, Bell said it's important that all squad members are in good shape and ready and willing to play their part in the three games coming up.

"We've had a few days training and everybody's fit for selection, which is good. These three games are going to be tough," said Bell, as his team will take on Norway, Germany and Scotland.

"The facility is really, really good, but it's a massive pitch. The girls are going to have to play really well in all three games because we're playing against three really good teams; that is where we're going to need strength in depth in the squad. Everybody has to be ready to do their part."

Cork City defender Zara Foley is back in the squad after a recent foot injury and has taken full part in training since coming back into the group.

Wednesday's game takes place indoors at the National Performance Centre and Bell explained that he is happy with the venue for the tie.

He said: "Today was the first time for us in the hall, which was really good - it's a great facility. It gave us a chance to get used to that environment again. I think the girls reacted well, they were quite excited actually to be playing in there."

Bell also described how the players are constantly developing and he expects them to bring what they have learned from the recent Iceland camp into this competition.

"It's always quite an intensive time. We only have a few days to prepare and then you have the three matches coming up. After the first game, you have recovery and then a bit of time to prepare before you're around to the next game, so it can be difficult. We had a camp in Iceland before the home-based sessions, and so we need to use the experience that we've gained together and put it into the first game against Norway," said Bell.

Squad captain Eabha O'Mahony is feeling upbeat about the game against Norway and says the team know just what they have to do.

"We're feeling confident ahead of the game. Training went very well today, and I think we all have a good sense of what is needed from us. Our communication has improved a lot and I think if we stay organised and work together as a team tomorrow, we've a great chance," said O'Mahony.

The Cork City defender also described how beneficial the time they have spent together recently has been for the young squad.

O'Mahony said: "We had a great training session today and we're all improving by the day. We feel we can really advance from here - we're constantly improving and progressing. We know that we are going to be playing against talented players and so we need to combat that with our own strengths."

Republic of Ireland WU17 squad
Goalkeepers: Courtney Maguire (Shelbourne), Maeve Williams (Wexford Youths)
Defenders: Therese Kinnevey (Galway Women's), Eabha O'Mahony (Cork City), Ellie Ferguson (Shelbourne), Shauna Brennan (Galway Women's), Mia Dodd (Shelbourne), Zara Foley (Cork City)
Midfielders: Rebecca Cooke (Shelbourne), Aoibheann Clancy (Limerick), Orla Prendergast (Peamount United), Della Doherty (Peamount United), Erin McLaughlin (Sea Rovers FC), Taylor White (Shelbourne)
Forwards: Lauren Egbuloniu (Cork City), Sophie Liston (Limerick), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Blessing Kingsley (Wexford Youths), Emily Kraft (FFC Frankfurt)

UEFA Women's European Under-17 Championship - Elite Round
March 20: Republic of Ireland v Norway, National Performance Centre, Edinburgh, KO 17:30
March 23: Germany v Republic of Ireland, National Performance Centre, Edinburgh, KO 12:00
March 26: Scotland v Republic of Ireland, Ainslie Park, Edinburgh, KO 14:30