Ronan readies her squad for U19 Elite qualifiers

Ronan readies her squad for U19 Elite qualifiers

The Republic of Ireland's Women's U19 team will play in the UEFA Championship Elite qualifying phase in Sweden ...
23rd Mar 2010
 The Republic of Ireland Women's Under-19 team embark on a daunting UEFA Championship Elite qualifying phase this week in Sweden this week.


Susan Ronan's side will take on competition holders England, Turkey and last year's runners-up, Sweden from this Saturday, March 27th to next Thursday, April 1st.


Only the six group winners and one runner-up with the best record against the sides first and third in their pool will join hosts FYR Macedonia in the finals from 24 May until 5 June 2010.


The Girls in Green advanced through their preliminary round of qualifiers last September with three straight victories over Croatia, Faroe Islands and Finland.


That 100% record helped them gain a top seeding for this Elite phase but the draw was far from kind and Ronan admits the task of reaching the finals will be arduous.


"We are up against the top two nations from last year's competition and we'll be giving it our best shot," she said.


"The priority for us is to concentrate on the opener against England on Saturday. The benefit of the investment put in at underage level by the English FA is being seen in recent years by the amount of success they've enjoyed.


"England and Sweden are both powerful sides, while Turkey can't be underestimated.
Anything can happen on the day, especially as all three groups matches are being played on artificial surfaces, so this is a great chance for our Girls to test themselves against the best."


She added: "The experience gained by the players from this Elite phase will stand to them in a huge way during future years as they develop their international careers.


"Both Julieanne Russell and Dora Gorman have recovered from the knocks which prevented them joining the Ireland senior squad for Sunday's win in Israel and we're delighted to have the pair of them available."


Ireland meet England on Saturday at the Behrn Arena (7pm) before taking on Turkey two days later, Sunday March 29, at Tunavallen (7pm). Their final qualifier will be against the mini-group hosts Sweden, also at Tunavallen (2pm).

UEFA Under-19 Women's Championship Elite Phase Qualifiers:

Saturday March 27 (7pm)
Republic of Ireland v England
Behrn Arena

Monday March 29 (7pm)
Republic of Ireland v Turkey
Tunavallen, Eskilstuna

Thursday April 1 (2pm)
Sweden v Republic of Ireland
Tunavallen, Eskilstuna

Republic of Ireland Women's Under-19 Squad: Aisling Dyer (Dundalk WFC), Niamh Reid-Burke (Raheny United), Becky Walsh (Salthill Devon), Karen Duggan (Piltown United), Julie Ann Russell (Salthill Devon), Zoe Doherty (Carndonagh), Amy Ryan (Unattached), Ciara Grant (Kilmacrennan Celtic), Dora Gorman (Salthill Devon), Megan Campbell (St. Francis), Ciara O'Brien (Tramore AFC), Cherelle Khassal (Benfica), Shelby Murphy (Slammers FC), Denise O'Sullivan (Wilton United), Lillie Billson
(Arsenal), Lois Roche (Arsenal), Kerry Glynn (Montclair Thunderbolts FC), Zoe Murphy (Ballincollig FC).