Ronan names squad for Russia qualifier
Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team manager Sue Ronan has named a 22 strong squad for next week’s vital FIFA World Cup qualifier against Russia at Tallaght Stadium.
Ronan has added Eve Badana, Yvonne Tracy, Rachel Graham and Emma Hansberry to the 18 players who were on duty for the last qualifier against Group 1 leaders Germany which Ireland lost 3-2 to a freak injury-time goal from the European champions.
“We have a number of players carrying injuries so we will assess them over the coming days before making any decisions regarding the 18 who will be on duty on Wednesday week. Yvonne, Rachel and Emma were with us at the Cyprus Cup and like Eve they are very much part of the extended senior squad,” said Ronan.
While Ireland came within minutes of securing a famous result against the Germans on April 5, Ronan is very aware that the game against Russia is vital to the side’s hopes of finishing second in the group and qualifying for the World Cup play-offs.
“This is a key game for us,” admitted Ronan. “We have both played the other four other teams in the group and they are two points ahead of us so we need to get ahead of them. We have produced some great performances over the last few months against top teams and delivered some very positive results and now we have another match against another team ranked much higher than us. We know what we have to do and hopefully we will get a big crowd in Tallaght to help us because it is not going to be easy. Russia reached last year’s European Championships and, after a bad start to the campaign against Germany, they have won three games on the trot. They will come to Dublin knowing a win will put them firmly in the driving seat for the play-offs so there’s a lot at stake for both teams.”
The FIFA World Cup qualifier against Russia will take place at Tallaght Stadium on Wednesday, May 7, with a 7.30pm kick-off. Admission is €5 for adults and €2 for students/U16s.
Ronan also announced that a Republic of Ireland XI will travel to Bilbao after next week’s game to play the Basque Country on Saturday, May 10, and she will name that squad on Wednesday.
“This match is a great opportunity for me to look at fringe players in the senior squad, some of the younger players coming through and some of those who have impressed in the Bus Éireann Women’s National League this season,” said Ronan.
SQUAD: Goalkeepers: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Niamh Reid-Burke (Raheny United), Eve Badana (Drexel University). Defenders: Sophie Perry (Millwall), Meabh de Burca (Galway WFC), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Diane Caldwell (Avaldsnes), Megan Campbell (Florida State University), Yvonne Tracy (Unattached), Karen Duggan (Peamount United). Midfielders: Julie Ann Russell (Peamount United), Ciara Grant (Raheny United), Siobhan Killeen (Raheny United), Dora Gorman (Peamount United), Shannon Smyth (Amazon Grimstad), Rachel Graham (Raheny United), Emma Hansberry (Castlebar Celtic). Forwards: Fiona O’Sullivan (SC Frieburg), Denise O’Sullivan (Glasgow City), Stephanie Roche (Peamount United), Ruesha Littlejohn (Sandviken), Áine O’Gorman (Peamount United).