WU16s: Squad named for UEFA Development Tournament

WU16 v Netherlands April 2017.jpeg

WU16s: Squad named for UEFA Development Tournament

Republic of Ireland Women's U16 Head Coach Sharon Boyle has named her squad for the forthcoming UEFA WU16 Development Tournament in Mayo.
10th May 2017

The Irish will meet Northern Ireland, Lithuania and Denmark in the tournament next week which will help prepare the sides participating for next season's UEFA WU17 Championships Qualifying Round.

Boyle is looking forward to working with the talented young group, many of whom at still only 14, although only three of the players who are still eligible for this group from this week's UEFA WU17 Championships Finals will be included in the Mayo tournament.

"The process for this started with trials and camps last year and ten of the players who could have been in this squad went to the WU17 finals so that shows how young that squad was in the Czech Republic," said Boyle.

"Fortunately we'll have three of the players back who didn't play much in that tournament - Jessica Ziu and Rachel Kelly from Shelbourne and Isibeal Atkinson from Enniskerry - and their experience will be a big help.

"The tournament will be all tough games for us. All across Europe countries are now investing money in grassroots girls football and underage national teams are constantly improving.

"We've played Northern Ireland before and the U15 Schools team also met them recently and we won't take them for granted. With Northern Ireland hosting the UEFA WU19 Finals this year there's been a lot of support for the women's game up there.

"Lithuania are a new side for us and we'll get video footage of them before we play them but it should be a good opportunity against a different type of opponent. 

"We played Denmark two years ago and their teams are always very well organised with well-conditioned players. The tournament is a great idea by UEFA to bridge gap from U16s to U17s when the competitive stuff starts."

Ireland WU16s suffered a tough 6-0 loss to Netherlands last month but Boyle feels that the learning experience will stand to her players.

"Netherlands was a big test. It was the girls' first time away as a squad. We'd two training sessions before we went over to play them where the Dutch girls all play against boys every week and are together with the Ajax academy all the time so it was a big jump for many of our players," said Boyle.

"When we looked back on the game the girls were disappointed with their own performances and knew that we could move ball quicker and take opportunities when they came and the defending was disappointing. We're working with the clubs to help the players know what we want at this level and tough games like that show them what the step up to the highest level actually is."



Goalkeepers: Rachel Kelly (Shelbourne), Karen Connolly (Cregmore Galway)

Defenders: Aoife Brophy (Peamount), Nicole Smyth (Lucan Utd), Leah Brady (Lucan Utd), Aoife Lynagh (Salthill Devon), Oleta Griffin (Shelbourne), Kate McGlenglan (Greencastle), Kayla Brady (Lucan Utd), 

Midfielders: Aoife Slattery (Ferrybank), Mia Dodd (Shelbourne), Nadine Clare (Enniskerry), Sinead Donavan (Cregmore Galway), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne).

Forwards: Zara Foley (Lakewood), Amy Boyle Carr (Donegal Town), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Lucia Labato (Salthill Devon), Louise Masterson (Peamount), Isibeal Atkinson (Enniskerry).



UEFA Women's U16 Development Tournament

Monday, May 15

Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland, Westport United (18:30);

Lithuania v Denmark, Solar 21 Park, Castlebar (14:00).


Wednesday, May 17

Republic of Ireland v Lithuania, Solar 21 Park, Castlebar (18:30);

Denmark v Northern Ireland, Ballina (14:00).


Friday, May 19

Denmark v Republic of Ireland, Westport United (12.00);

Northern Ireland v Lithuania, Solar 21 Park, Castlebar (10.00).