Russell ready for Spanish test


Russell ready for Spanish test

Newly crowned Women’s International Player of the Year Julie Ann Russell is looking forward to Wednesday’s friendly against Spain as Ireland face yet another of the teams heading to this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals in Canada.
6th Apr 2015

The fact that Ireland head into the game at Mareo Stadium, Asturias, on the back of a win against another World Cup bound team, Costa Rica, will be a boost according to Russell.

“I think it was vital for us to beat Costa Rica in the last game of the Istria Cup so we are coming into this game against Spain with a win behind us. Although the results didn't go to plan over there it was great to get together as a lot of us playing in different leagues across Europe,” said Russell.

Unlike the game against Costa Rice, Ireland will go into Wednesday’s game as underdogs give Spain are currently ranked 14th in the world, some 17 places higher than Ireland, but Russell believes that doesn’t give the team an edge.

“I wouldn't necessarily say it gives any advantage to us. It might just take a small bit of pressure off the team as people will not be expecting us to beat Spain. You just never know what will happen in a game of football. To get the opportunity to play against a top nation is amazing and I know both the girls and I can't wait to get out and play and test ourselves. I know that they are ranked 14th in the world and I know that they will be technically really good and very quick, but I feel if we play to the right tactics we will be able to put it up to them. “

Having won the U19 award in the 2009-10 season, Russell was honoured to be named as Senior Player of the Year at the recent 3 FAI International Awards

“It was such an honour to win the International Player of the Year. To play for my country means so much to me so to win this award it felt incredible. The team are a great bunch of girls and I believe everyone had a great year of football shown by our results and progression so to be chosen to win player of the year felt surreal. Putting in all the hard work training and balancing my Masters and then work it made it even more special to me to win the award.”

The original squad of 18 all reported in fit and after flying to Spain last night, trained today in preparation for Wednesday’s match.

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team Squad (v Spain)

Goalkeepers: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Niamh Reid-Burke (Raheny United).

Defenders: Megan Campbell (Florida State University), Meabh De Burca (Galway WFC), Niamh Fahey (Chelsea), Aine O'Gorman (UCD Waves), Sophie Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United).

Midfielders: Emma Beckett (Amazon Grimstad), Diane Caldwell (Avaldsnes), Ciara Grant (UCD Waves), Siobhan Killeen (Raheny United), Denise O'Sullivan (Glasgow City), Julie Ann Russell (UCD Waves).

Forwards: Carol Breen (Wexford Youths Women’s AFC), Ruesha Littlejohn (Celtic), Katie McCabe (Raheny United), Fiona O'Sullivan (Notts County).