Women's Under-19 Squad Profiles
The Republic of Ireland Under-19 Women squad confront their biggest test of the campaign today when they take on Germany in the last game of their UEFA Elite stage qualifiers. Here, we introduce the squad of players.
Sinead Crotty - Connecticut Utd FC
Goalkeeper: American based goalkeeper who steps up to the starting line-up after an injury sustained to keeper, Niamh Reid Burke. The hard-working shot stopper has impressed in recent performances for the Irish and has proved that she will be a key component for the future.
Aisling Dyer - Stella Maris
Goalkeeper: Stella Maris shot-stopper, Aisling Dyer is no stranger to the international stage as she has represented Ireland at a number of levels including the Irish Schools U15 side and most recently the Republic of Ireland women’s U17 team who qualified for the UEFA elite qualifying phase in last year’s competition.
Susan Hackett - Stella Maris
Defender: The Stella Maris player is a tough tackling defender who has played a vital role in the Irish U19 squad for the past three seasons. Her experience in the side has helped the team qualify for the elite qualifying phase, three times in as many years as she leads from example at the back.
Louise Quinn - Peamount
Defender: Louise is one of the key players for the Irish U19 squad was appointed captain of the team by Susan Ronan. Now in her third year at this group, she hails from Blessington in County Wicklow and plays for Peamount United and will be hoping to win her first senior cap in the next coming seasons.
Megan Campbell - St. Francis
Defender: Played a vital part in the FAI Women’s Senior Cup as St. Francis claimed the cup after their final victory over Peamount United. The full back in featuring in her first campaign in Susan Ronan’s U19 squad and is Ireland’s lethal weapon from throw-ins in the opponents half.
Anna McCormack - Salthill Devon
Defender: The Galway native was called up to the Irish U19 squad for the 2007/08 campaign and was one of Ireland’s best defenders in the elite qualifying phase as the team narrowly missed out on qualification to the UEFA Championship finals. She missed the 2008/09 first qualifying phase in Israel due to injury but has forced her way back into the squad with impressive performances for club and country.
Niamh Nolan - St. Francis
Defender: Niamh is another defender who excelled in St. Francis FC’s victorious run in the FAI Women’s Senior Challenge Cup victory in 2008. She earned a surprise call-up to the Irish squad prior to the UEFA elite qualifying phase and has deserved her place in the squad with her solid performances. She is a success story of the FAI Women’s Unit, Emerging Talent Programme with a lot expected from the solid defender over the coming years.
Becky Walsh - Salthill Devon
Defender: Galway’s Rebecca Walsh is another player to hail from the talented Salthill Devon club and she has recovered from injury which kept her out of the qualifying series last year and will give manager, Susan Ronan extra options in defence where she can play full back and in the centre of defence. Rebecca who has a lethal right foot is also a talented gaelic footballer which proves her all-round versatility.
Niamh Mulcahy - Aisling Annacotty
Midfielder: The Limerick based midfielder has been an important part of the U19 team for two seasons. Her strong attacking prowess gives the Irish team an extra attacking option and has so far played a big part in the elite qualifying phase with her experience.
Karen Duggan - Piltown FC
Defender: Kilkenny’s Karen Duggan has steadily progressed through the ranks of international football with the Irish U17 team before being called up to the U19 team last year despite being underage for another year. Karen, who has the ability to operate as an effective holding midfield player won the eircom International Women’s U19 player of the year this year.
Amanda Parkes - Wilton United.
Midfielder: Wilton’s Amanda Parkes is another ever-present player at this age group. She is one of the players who has been offered an FAI 3rd level scholarship and she is expected to play a big part in the upcoming campaign as she comes to age.
Gillian McDonnell - Dundalk City WFC
Midfielder: Gillian has been one of Ireland’s most consistent performers since her call up to the international squad last year. Scored an amazing four goals in her competitive debut against Croatia last year and has grown from strength to strength since. Claimed the FAI eircom U17 player of the year award in 2008 and was rewarded with a call up to the Irish senior team for the EURO 2009 play-off against Iceland. The Dundalk City starlet has a bright international future ahead of her.
Ciara Grant - Lagan Harps
Midfielder: Current FAI eircom Women’s U17 player of the year, the Lagan Harps youngster is an instinctive footballer from Donegal with a good eye for the creative pass; Ciara has established herself in the heart of the Irish U17 midfield by turning in numerous player of the game performances. A player who loves the big occasion, Ciara is tipped to emulate her name sake, Arsenal's Ciara Grant and represent Ireland at senior level,
Ciara O’Brien - Tramore AFC
Midfielder: Waterford player, Ciara O’Brien is another surprise package for the U19 side as she is rewarded for her impressive performances in the Irish U17 friendlies against the USA in the Algarve earlier this year. The wide player who is extremely athletic will pose a grave attacking option against opponents for the next number of seasons at this level.
Amy Ryan - Stella Maris
Forward: Stella Maris striker, Amy Ryan excelled at U17 level earning her a call up to Susan Ronan’s U19 side last year. She scored an astonishing five goals in three games at the UEFA Championship, first qualifying phase last year to guarantee the women’s U19 a place in the next round. She was called up to the Irish senior squad for the EURO 2009 play-off against Iceland but did not feature over the two legs but surely it is only a matter of time before she makes an appearance for the senior side.
Lillie Billson - Arsenal FC
Forward: The Arsenal recruit is a new addition to the Irish squad and she is a difficult prospect for any defenders. Billson is an imposing centre-forward who is a natural creator of goals and is not easily dispossessed.
Zoe Doherty - Cardonagh
Forward: Donegal’s Zoe Doherty is a massive physical presence for the Irish attack, as she leads the line effectively and is difficult to disposess. She is just returning from injury but has another season at this level. Emulates the skills of her cousin, Norwich City star Gary Doherty, who hails from the same area in Donegal.
Lucy Hannon - Salthill Devon
Forward: Galway based, Hannon has been a permanent feature in the Republic of Ireland U17 side and was a driving force behind Salthill Devon’s FAI Umbro Women’s U16 Cup victory in 2007. The striker was also included in the Galway Ladies squad that represented Ireland in last season’s UEFA Cup.
Irish Manager - Susan Ronan
Republic of Ireland women’s U19 manager has been at the helm for nine seasons and has qualified for the elite qualifying phase an impressive eight times. Ronan has acquired a UEFA B licence and currently works as the FAI Women’s Unit manager with direct responsibility for promoting and developing women’s football at all levels throughout the country. While playing her club football with Shelbourne, Susan played for the Republic of Ireland senior side 22 times and was awarded the FAI Women’s Player of the Tear title in 1993.