Irish women set for French friendly
The Football Association of Ireland have confirmed that the Republic of Ireland women's senior team will face France in an international friendly on Thursday, February 25th in Richmond Park, Dublin 8.
The friendly will be used as key preparation for Noel King's side who will play two FIFA World Cup qualifiers in March with a visit to Israel on March 21st followed by a home game against Switzerland on March 31st.
The Girls in Green currently sit in 3rd place in Group 6 of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers behind Switzerland and Russia after four games.
France, who are currently ranked 9th in the FIFA Women's World Rankings lead Group 1 with maximum points ahead of Iceland, Croatia and Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the announcement, Irish manager, Noel King said, "I am delighted that we will host the very highly rated French team in Dublin later this month. The game will be used as an important exercise ahead of our difficult World Cup qualifiers against Israel and Switzerland in March. I will be calling up our strongest available squad for the game but we will be without two key players, Katie Taylor who is unavailable and Stephanie Curtis who is out for the rest of the season after she injured her anterior cruciate ligament in the 2-1 victory over Kazakhstan last October."
"At any level in football, the French national team are always going to be a very strong technical team. Last year, we played them away from home in a hard fought game which we lost 2-0. Winning is not necessarily the key component in this fixture as we develop our formation and tactics ahead of the World Cup battles that lie ahead of us. As a team, we have been improving steadily over the past number of years. It is games such as this in which we continue to develop and if we get a victory with a helping hand, I won't be complaining," said King.
Republic of Ireland v France
Thursday, February 25th 2009