Irish women set for 10 week USA training camp
The "Girls in Green" will also play a number of friendly games against top USA teams such as Chicago Red Stars, Notre Dame, LA Sol and Louisville as well as South American, second ranked team, Argentina.
Ireland’s hosts, FC Indiana, one of the top women’s professional teams in the USA over the last number of years, have lined up a star studded fixture list which King will use as part of his side’s preparation for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers where Ireland will meet Russia, Switzerland, Israel and Kazakhstan in Group Six of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup which gets underway with an away tie against Switzerland on September 19th.
The opening game of the training camp on June 24th at the Kuntz Stadium pits Ireland against FC Indiana, who are currently flying high in the new USA Women’s Professional Soccer League and are currently managed by former Arsenal coach, Emma Hayes.
One of the highlights of the 10-week training camp is a meeting with WPSL leaders, Los Angeles Sol who will call upon current FIFA player of the year, Martha. The Brazilian star has set the USA League alight and is adding significant numbers to attendances in every game.
King's side will then face Argentina on July 18th before they come up against the "Fighting Irish" side from Notre Dame University on August 11th at the Kuntz stadium.
Speaking ahead of this exciting development for women's football in Ireland, Irish boss, Noel King said, "I am really excited about this ambitious training camp in the USA, looking ahead at our schedule, we face arguably some of the strongest women’s football teams in the world. Getting positive results from these matches is going to be incredibly difficult but it will be a massive learning curve for our players as we head into our World Cup qualifiers in September. Indiana is designed to help us continue the enormous progress we have been making and while it will be a very difficult trip on many fronts, if we can raise our levels of fitness and tactical awareness and become a better team, then it will all be worth it,” said King.
“Over the past number of seasons, the team have been improving with every qualifying campaign and we want to build on those past performances for the World Cup qualifiers against Russia, Switzerland, Kazakhstan and Israel and we want to do better than achieving a play-off spot for the finals. During the trip we will be taking the time to look at a number of trialists both Irish and Irish American in the hope of adding competition to the squad for the World Cup campaign. Going into a residency training camp is something new and innovative for Ireland. Innovation is all very well and it is good promotion for the women’s game, but that’s not enough. We want this trip to be successful and a turning point for the Irish women’s game. Top 20 International football is full time and to compete we must find ways to compensate and challenge,” added King.
Republic of Ireland fixtures
24th June: Indiana vs. Ireland – Indianapolis
5th July: Ireland v Chicago Red Stars (Chicago)
11th July: Ireland v Chicago Red Star (Venue TBC)
15th July: LA Sol v Ireland (Venue TBC)
18th July: Ireland v Argentina (Location TBC)
8th August: Louisville v Ireland - Louisville
11th August: Notre Dame v Ireland – Kuntz Stadium
Republic of Ireland squad
Emma Byrne - Arsenal
Niamh Fahey - Arsenal
Edel Malone - Hofstra TBC
Ciara Grant - Arsenal
Stefanie Curtis - Bristol Rovers
Yvonne Treacy - Arsenal
Jemma Connor - Birmingham
Diane Caldwell - Hofstra
Aine O Gorman - Stella Maris
Meabh de Burca - Salthill Devon
Sonya Hughes - Tolka Rovers/Dundalk
Lynn Bradley - Raheny United
Michele O’Brien - Jersey Sky Blue
Ciara McCormack - FC Larvik (Norway)
Marie Curtin - Lifford
Noelle Murray - Raheny
Mary T McDonnell - Boston Breakers
Stephanie Roche - Dundalk
Selina Moylan - University New Haven
Susan Byrne – St. Johns University
Manager - Noel King