Russell looks to complete the double
This is a big weekend in the Russell household and Republic of Ireland Women's National Team member Julie Ann Russell is hoping to make a sweet double when Ireland open their FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying campaign against Slovakia at the Carlisle Grounds, Bray, tomorrow (1pm).
Last night, Julie Ann's brother John was a key player for St Patrick's Athletic as they beat Dundalk in their top of the table clash at Richmond Park to open up a three points lead at the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division with just five games to go.
Julie Ann watched the match at the Irish squad's headquarters in Dunboyne Castle and kicked every ball as she cheered on her brother and his team-mates and roles will be reversed tomorrow when the Russell family gather in Bray to cheer on Julie Ann.
"We would be very close and he would have got me into football. We speak nearly every day and we would talk to each other after games about how we have done. He's been a great help to me," said the Peamount United midfielder who is 22 and already has 22 caps and three goals at senior level.
From Galway, she previously played for Salthill Devon and also English side Doncaster Belles before moving to Peamount United when her studies brought her to Dublin. She is currently studying for her Masters in Marketing at UCD. Like all the squad she looking forward to the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign.
"I can't wait for the first game against Slovakia and the rest of the girls are the same. Everybody is really up for it and we want to do well though we know they are a good team. Hopefully we can get off to a great start because it is a tough group, especially with the likes of Germany and Russia in it," said Russell who believes there is a great bond developing within the squad.
"I have 22 caps now and I feel I have settled in and that the team is gelling together. A lot of younger players have played together at under-age level and also for the schools and universities international teams so we know one another quite well and that's been a big help. We're all good friends and there is plenty of banter."