Tracy set to win 75th cap
Senior Women's Team defender Yvonne Tracy is set to reach a memorable milestone next Tuesday evening when the Republic of Ireland meet Austria at Tallaght Stadium (7.30pm) by becoming only the fourth Irish female player to make 75 senior appearances for her country.
Her Arsenal team-mates Ciara Grant and Emma Byrne have already reached this milestone along with Ireland's all-time record goalscorer Olivia O'Toole and Tracy would probably have reached the mark some time ago but for injuries.
"I'd probably be a lot closer to 100 if I hadn't lost a full two years with injuries but, even though I'm 32, it's still a goal of mine to keep playing for as long as my legs keep going," said Tracy. "Having missed so much time through injury I really appreciate every game now and I can't wait for Tuesday's game against Austria."
Ireland manager Sue Ronan paid tribute to Tracy, who was handed her first Irish cap 14 years ago by then manager Mick Cooke who is now in charge of Airtricity League Premier Division club Drogheda United.
"To reach 75 appearances is a fantastic achievement," said Ronan. " Yvonne has played in England with Arsenal for most of her career and has been an integral part of the women's national squad since she made her debut in 1999 She is an important player for me, due to the level of experience and professionalism she brings to the team. She is a terrific role model for any young girl starting out in the game," said Ronan.
As one of the most experienced players in the team Tracy is enjoying her new role and is impressed with the young players that have come into a squad that is currently in transition.
"I think the future is very bright. The U19s were very unlucky not to qualify for this year's European Finals and in the senior squad we now have a nice blend of youth and experience. The young players are all playing in the Women's National League and have come through the under-age set-up. They all want to learn and you only have to tell them something once and they take it on board," said Tracy who hails from Limerick and is a sister of Airtricity League player Shane Tracy.
Tracy joined up with her Ireland colleagues when they reported to their base at Dunboyne Castle today and this afternoon's training session featured a practice match against the World University Games Squad which is currently preparing for next month's tournament in Russia.
Tuesday's game against Austria is as key part of Ireland's preparations for the FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign which kicks off in September. Ireland have been drawn in Group 1 alongside Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia.
Tuesday's match in Tallaght Stadium kicks-off at 7.30pm and admission to the game will be €10 with U16s admitted free of charge.
Republic of Ireland Squad: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Eve Badana (Drexel University), Seana Cooke (Raheny United), Yvonne Tracy (Arsenal), Megan Campbell (Raheny United), Sophie Perry (Unattached), Meabh De Burca (Eskilstuna United), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Karen Duggan (Peamount United), Diane Caldwell (Avaldsness), Julie Ann Russell (Peamount United), Ciara Grant (Raheny United), Rachel Graham (Raheny United), Shannon McDonnell (Unattached), Mary Therese McDonnell (Chicago Red Stars), Fiona O'Sullivan (SC Frieburg), Denise O'Sullivan (Cork Women's FC), Sara Lawlor (Peamount United), Ruesha Littlejohn (Glasgow City), Geraldine McLaughlin (IT Sligo).
Austria Squad: Verena Aschauer (BV Cloppenburg), Nina Burger (SV Neulengbach), Laura Feiersinger (Bayern München), Virginia Kirchberger (BV Cloppenburg), Anna-Carina Kristler (SK Sturm Graz Damen / Stattegg), Lisa Makas (ASV Spratzern), Heike Manhart (SK Sturm Graz Damen / Stattegg), Jennifer Pöltl (ASV Spratzern) Nadine Prohaska (ASV Spratzern), Jelena Prvulovic (USC Landhaus), Sarah Puntigam (SC Kriens), Viktoria Schnaderbeck (Bayern München), Julia Tabotta (ASV Spratzern), Elisabeth Tieber (VfL Sindelfingen), Katia Trödthandl (Valencia CF Femenino), Carina Wenninger (Bayern München), Sarah Zadrazil (ETSU Buccaneers), Manuela Zinsberger (SV Neulengbach).