King plots path to UEFA semi-final

King plots path to UEFA semi-final

The Republic of Ireland women's U17 side take on Sweden tomorrow (Thursday) in the UEFA Championship, elite qualifying phase, knowing that victory will send them through to the semi-final's of the competition which takes place in Switzerland this summer.
14th Apr 2010

The Republic of Ireland women's U17 side take on Sweden tomorrow (Thursday) in the UEFA Championship, elite qualifying phase, knowing that victory will send them through to the semi-final's of the competition which takes place in Switzerland this summer.


Noel King's side, currently unbeaten in the competition to date will face the giants of European women's football, Sweden at the Krymteplitsa Stadium in the Crimea in Ukraine at 2pm (Irish time)


Irish manager, Noel King says that the game has the potential to be one of the most significant milestone in the history of women's football in Ireland, "The game against Sweden is a massive game for everybody involved. We are one step away from making history and qualifying for the semi-finals of the UEFA Championships - the stakes don't get much higher than that. We have done considerably well to get here and I know that the team are prepared to go all of the way to the finals in the summer. All logic throughout Europe expects Sweden to qualify for these finals but logic is regularly contradicted in football. In the women's game, there is always a substantial amount of expectation on Sweden to win every competition they enter but nobody else has been in our dressing room to see the pure determination to succeed. Our girls have hundreds of examples of the underdog coming out on top and that is inspiring them to succeed," he said.


The young ‘Girls in Green' will be without the influential midfielder, Niamh McLaughlin after she was cautioned in Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Poland which was her second booking of the campaign but King says that the quality of the squad ensures that whatever replacements are needed, will be made seamlessly, "With Niamh McLaughlin's suspension, we will make at least one change to the starting line-up but the rest of the squad are eager to feature in the final game and that is something I will have to decide on. With the strength in depth in the squad, any changes which are made will add weight to the side rather than take away from our performance. As a team, we have been together for almost two years and they have all shown fantastic progression as a team and as individuals. As manager of the team, I would like to make more progress and get to the last four in Europe. With only four European teams qualifying for the finals, it was always going to be a difficult task, if this was a men's underage tournament, we would already have qualified for the finals. In my opinion, as a team, we have a lot more in the tank, we are not ready to bow out of this competition just yet," he said.



"Our record in this competition to date speaks for itself, we are currently on a five match unbeaten run which is an excellent achievement. I am thankful to the FAI for their support which has allowed us to prepare professionally with training camps and friendly internationals which I believe has contributed greatly to our progression at this level. I am also backed by a strong team of technical staff led by assistant coaches, Harry Kenny and former senior international defender, Sharon Boyle who have worked incredibly hard for us to reach this level," he added.



UEFA Women's U17 elite qualifying phase fixtures and results
Saturday, April 10th 2010
Republic of Ireland 3-1 Ukraine
Fiolent Stadium, Simferopol


Tuesday, April 13th 2010
Poland 1-1 Republic of Ireland
Krymteplitsa Stadium, Simferopol


Thursday, April 15th 2010
Republic of Ireland v Sweden
Krymteplitsa Stadium, Simferopol
Kick-off: 16.00 hrs (local time)


Republic of Ireland squad
Grace Moloney - Reading FC
Kerry Glynn - Montclair Thunderbolts
Jessica Gleeson - Tramore FC
Megan Campbell - St. Francis FC
Ciara Grant - Kilmacrennan Celtic
Siobhan Killeen - Raheny United
Dora Gorman - Salthill Devon
Denise O'Sullivan - Wilton United
Stacie Jayne Donnelly - Reading FC
Niamh McLaughlin - Greencastle FC *
Ciara O'Brien - Tramore FC
Aileen Gilroy - Killala FC
Rianna Jarrett - North End United FC
Jennifer Byrne - Bealnamulla FC
Amanda Budden - Wilton United
Rebecca Kearney - Lakewood Athletic
Clare Shine - Douglas Hall FC
Tanya Kennedy - Finn Valley FC

*Suspended

Manager
Noel King