Ruddy attributes WU17 team spirit to win
Dave Bell's team passed their first assignment with a 2-1 triumph over Hungary that left them top of Group 3 ahead of clashes with Czech Republic on Monday and France on Thursday.
The target is to qualify for this summer's finals tournament in Belarus and midfield ace Ruddy reckons that they have a great chance of achieveing that due to their team cohesion.
“We just seem to click on the pitch. I think our style of play suits the players that we have and everyone knows each other’s game, so it works really well for us,” explained Ruddy.
“I think our closeness off the pitch definitely helps. We keep saying it, but we really are like a family. And that goes for the staff too because they give us so much inspiration.
“It’s amazing to work with the coaches, especially Dave [Bell] because of how good he is as a coach. We have a winning mentality now because of him and it’s something that we want to maintain.”
Second-half goals from Saoirse Noonan and Lauren Kelly helped Ireland pick up the three points last Saturday, but it required a fight back after seeing Hungary take the lead.
“We were frustrated going in at half-time, but Dave told us that we had 40 minutes to get ourselves back into it if we really wanted to make it to the finals,” said Ruddy.
“We have belief in ourselves, we just had to keep working hard. So we rolled our sleeves up and proved that we were the better side by getting two goals and picking up the three points.”
Ruddy (pictured above with Alex Kavanagh) feels that they have simply overcome the first obstacle in the race to reach the finals and she is quick to acknowledge that there are two more still to come.
“We achieved what we set out to do in our first game by winning it. Now, we have to do the same thing against Czech Republic,” said Ruddy.
“To qualify for the finals would be a dream, but we are only focusing on our next game. We have always just taken it game by game and that is what we’re going to do in this group.”
Republic of Ireland v Czech Republic, Monday, March 21, Flers, France, KO 6pm
Republic of Ireland v France, Thursday, March 24, Bayeux, France, KO 5:30pm