Irish Women set for innovative World Cup training camp in the USA
Republic of Ireland senior women’s manager Noel King has announced that his team have received permission from the FAI International Committee to begin preparations for the FIFA 2011 World Cup with an 11 week football residency camp in the United States which will be hosted by FC Indiana from June 18th - September 2nd.
The trip to Indiana will also include a number of friendly games against some of the top teams in American football including FC Indiana, Chicago Fire and LA Sol, home to FIFA Footballer of the Year, Marta Vieira da Silva.
King will use the trip 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.
Speaking at the announcement, King said, “This camp has the potential to be a milestone for the development of women’s football in Ireland. Over the past eight years, we have been making huge strides on the international front and it is obvious that this type of preparation is the next step if we are to compete with the top teams in the world who are all full-time professionals.”
“The process started when FC Indiana manager, Shek Borkowski issued an invitation to our team to use their facilities for the duration and since then, we have been on a long consultation process with the stakeholders involving many presentations. We have also been examining the various logistics, insurance and budgets and I would like to thank everyone involved in this process including clubs, leagues, WFAI and FAI representatives,” said King.
The Irish manager added, “ This training camp is a very innovative move and one I hope will justify the huge level of support we have received for it. The camp will include players from Ireland, the UK and indeed the USA and I thank them for their commitment for coming with us for the duration of the 11 weeks. Ideally, this will be a massive help for our team to develop further and push hard for qualification but while there are never any guarantees in football, I am sure that this is the right thing to do for the development of the game.”
Ireland have made huge strides in their last three competitive campaigns. After earning promotion to the top tier of 20 European nations in 2005, they managed to retain their place amongst the Elite group a year later by claiming fourth place and went one better last time out with a third-place finish in the 2009 UEFA Championship qualifiers. That feat qualified Ireland for a play-off, where they missed out on a place in this summer’s final by losing over two legs against Iceland. But it has also made Ireland an unprecedented second seed in their World Cup Qualifying Group.