Women’s Football Blast will be back in it’s usual Wednesday slot next week.
Peil and Back
We have a new episode of our Irish football podcast Peil and Back looking at women’s football. Eileen joined us to look at the domestic season so far. We also asked a few questions of the Ireland squad chosen to play USA in two friendlies.
Listen on Spotify:
In the coming weeks we hope to have our podcasts available on more platforms.
Women’s National League
After 5 rounds all teams have played at least 3 games with just 1 side remaining undefeated.
Shelbourne ended Peamount United’s 100% start with an emphatic victory to cut the gap at the top of the table to 2 points. Shamrock Rovers remain unbeaten and are 3rd on goal difference.
Bohs and Galway will be happy with their season so far, while Wexford Youths have some catching up to do having played less games. Sligo Roves are the only side yet to pick up any points.
Having picked up an injury in the Champions League we were left to sweat on the fitness of Katie McCabe, but we had nothing to worry about reall.
Ireland’s World Cup Prep
Ireland travel to the USA in the penultimate international break before the World Cup.
Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Grace Moloney (Reading), Megan Walsh (Brighton & Hove Albion), Sophie Whitehouse (Lewes)
Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Jessie Stapleton (Shelbourne), Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Aoife Mannion (Manchester United), Diane Caldwell (Reading), Claire O’Riordan (Celtic), Hayley Nolan (London City Lionesses), Tara O’Hanlon (Peamount United), Áine O’Gorman (Shamrock Rovers)
Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Jamie Finn (Birmingham City), Ruesha Littlejohn (Aston Villa), Ciara Grant (Hearts), Roma McLaughlin (Fortuna Hjorring), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City)
Heather Payne (Florida State University), Abbie Larkin (Shelbourne), Amber Barrett (Postdam Turbine), Kyra Carusa (London City Lionesses), MArissa Sheva (Washington Spirit), Alannah McEvoy (Shamrock Rovers)
- Lilly Agg was originally in the squad but was ruled out and replaced by Lucy Quinn
- Niamh Fahey, Chloe Mustaki, Ellen Molloy, Jess Ziu, and Leanne Kiernan are all ruled out through injury
- Megan Campbell unavailable
- New call-ups are Sophie Whitehouse, Tara O’Hanlon, and Alannah McEvoy
(Times in Irish time)
Saturday 8th April
19:30 USA vs Ireland
Wednesday 12th April
00:30 USA vs Ireland
You would have to imagine that squad will largely be to one that heads to the World Cup. Niamh Fahey, Chloe Mustake, Ellen Molloy are injury doubts who could still be fit for the tournament which would likely see them get on the plane.Megan Campbell is another who would probably be there s available. Jess Ziu and Leanne Kiernan appear to be rules out of the tournament.
There are some questions to be asked. Call-ups for Tara O’Hanlon and Alannah McEvoy are welcome the timing is questionable with under 19 qualifiers taking place. If they aren’t going to get game time in these friendlies and don’t have a chance at getting in the 23 that go to the World Cup then it would have been better to let them play underage in the qualifiers.
There have been a few different goalkeepers involved in the squad between Naoisha McAloon, Eve Badana, and now Sophie Whitehouse, with the likes of Amanda Budden also worth a look. It would appear if everybody is fit the trio of Brosnan, Moloney, and Walsh will take the GK spots as they’ve been mostly ever-present in the past year.
Again we see the inclusion of players who have recently declared. It seems odd not to stick with the same 35+ players who got us to the World Cup. It may end up being an unwelcome disruption to have so many new faces if they aren’t starting. It;s not a case of never giving new players a chance, but perhaps it isn’t the time to experiment with only 4 games before the tournament.
As for the games, it’s something of a free-hit, Ireland aren’t expected to go to the USA and beat the World number 1. However a heavy defeat would be an unwelcome knock to the confidence. A good showing, a couple of goals, and not being well-beaten would be a good tour, but of course this hungry Ireland side will want more.