Irish set for World Cup mission to Russia and Kazakhstan
The Republic of Ireland women's senior side continue their FIFA World Cup, group 6 qualifying campaign with two pivotal away fixtures against Russia and Kazakhstan and on October 25th and 29th respectively.
Noel King's side currently sit in 3rd place in the table following their 2-1 victory over Kazakhstan in Cork in September after an opening day 2-0 defeat at the hands of Switzerland in Wohlen.
The Irish manager has called upon Salthill Devon midfielder, Julie Anne Russell who impressed for the Irish U19s as they progressed to the elite qualifying phase of the UEFA Championship recently while St. Catherine's star, Kate Taylor (pictured below) is again included after she returned to the Irish side for last month's victory over Kazakhstan in Turners Cross.
Speaking at the announcement, Irish manager, Noel King stressed the importance that the two games will have on the World Cup campaign, "When the draw was made for this group last year, we always knew this was going to be a difficult trip in terms of logistics and obviously the strength of our opponents. Let us not forget that the group favourites, Russia were a very strong team in last year's UEFA Championships while Kazakhstan gave us a battle in Turners Cross last month, such is the physical nature of their game. We are targeting four points from the two games as a worthwhile return," added King.
"Logistically, the trip is going to be incredibly difficult for our players, especially for the Kazakhstan game but the travel arrangements have all been catered for so the results on the field will be completely up to our players. Following the Russia game, our players face a four and a half hour flight from Moscow to Almaty which is followed by a three hour coach journey to Taldykorgan. With this kind of travel itinerary, it is vital that we get the right mix of preparation and rest to be in peak condition," said King.
FIFA Women's World Cup - Group 6 qualifying fixtures
Sunday, October 25th
Russia v Republic of Ireland
Rossiyanka Stadium, Krasnoarmeysk
Kick-off: 15.30 (local time)
Thursday, October 29th
Kazakhstan v Republic of Ireland
Stadium Jetisy, Taldykorgan
Kick-off: 14.00 (local time)
Republic of Ireland squad
Emma Byrne - Arsenal
Niamh Fahey - Arsenal
Mary T McDonnell - Chicago Red Stars
Ciara Grant - Arsenal
Stefanie Curtis - Bristol Rovers
Yvonne Tracy - Arsenal
Jemma Connor - Birmingham
Fiona O' Sullivan - San Francisco Storm
Aine O'Gorman - Stella Maris
Meabh de Burca - Salthill Devon
Shannon McDonnell - Chicago
Sonya Hughes - Tolka Rovers
Michele O'Brien - Jesery Sky Blue
Kate Taylor - St. Catherines
Marie Curtin - Lifford
Lynn Bradley - Raheny United
Stephanie Roche - Raheny United
Julie Anne Russell - Salthill Devon