Ireland WU17: Ziu setting sights on new targets


Ireland WU17: Ziu setting sights on new targets

An extra buzz of excitement was injected into a team-bonding games night when Jessica Ziu heard it announced that she had been awarded the Women's Under 16 Player of the Year at the FAI awards night last Sunday evening.
21st Mar 2019

The Shebourne player is away with Colin Bell's Women's Under-17s squad at the UEFA European Championships Elite Round qualifiers in Scotland - where they drew 1-1 with Norway on Wednesday - and was having some down time with her team-mates when the honour was revealed.

Ziu said: "The whole squad were having a games night, and while we were playing a card game, I was checking Twitter to see what was going on at the awards. And then I saw my picture going up and all the girls were saying congratulations and well done to both me and Emily [Whelan].

"I think it is a proud moment for me and my family but none of it would be possible without all the management that I had last year. And also, I really had my family and my friends pushing me on. Especially my parents, because they're the ones that get me to football and home. They make my food - they just do everything they can for me. So if it wasn't for them, and the management, I wouldn't have been able to get where I am.

"My brother, my mam and a close friend of ours went to the awards because my dad was working. My mam also recorded the awards so she sent me the little video of it being announced.

"It was great for them to go, but I'm just glad to be here and be part of this squad. All the girls are getting on really well and we're all interacting and getting to know each other better. Playing-wise, I think we're looking very strong and sharp. There are things we can still work on but as Colin says, hard work always pays off. And being there for each other and supporting each other will be a big part of us doing well too."

The 16-year-old, from Finglas in Dublin, has also worked her way into a place in Bell's Women's Senior team and has her sights firmly set on doing the best she can to keep that up.

"My main goal is to stay in Colin's senior squad. I just want to keep doing the hard work and keep on progressing. And at home, my goal is to win every trophy going with Shels. I know that will all take hard work, but I'm well up for that."

UEFA Women's European Under-17 Championship - Elite Round
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