Megan Connolly hoping more Cork girls can follow in her international footsteps

Megan Connolly hoping more Cork girls can follow in her international footsteps

Megan Connolly of Republic of Ireland poses for a selfie following the UEFA Women's 2021 European Championships qualifier match between Republic of Ireland and Ukraine at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

IRELAND women’s midfielder Megan Connolly is hopeful that more footballers from Cork will soon earn a call up to the national squad.

The Cork native was speaking from the Irish training base in Duisburg ahead of their crucial UEFA Women's EURO 2022 qualifier against Germany this Saturday.

Only two of the 23 woman squad are from Leeside but Connolly is optimistic that number will soon increase while she also praised Cork City’s women following their three league victories in succession last week.

“It’s nice to have me and Dee in here but it would be nice to have a lot more Cork girls coming up,” admitted Connolly.

“Éabha (O’Mahony) has been in and about the squad and I think there is a lot of good development programmes in Cork that will help give more players that opportunity.

“It gives them a chance to get seen so hopefully one day there will be a lot more Cork girls in the squad, maybe even a starting eleven all from Cork as well.

“I always keep looking at the Women’s National League, seeing the results. I’m from Cork so I see a lot of that, I’ve friends there and it is great to see Cork City getting those results.

“If you look at the last few years, Cork have been building really. They haven’t always had the best time in the league but I think they are at a place now where they have really improved a lot which you can see from their last three results.” Denise O’Sullivan is the other Corkonian in the squad and she also recently joined the midfielder at Brighton and Hove Albion in the English Women’s Super League.

O’Sullivan has already had a positive impact at the club as she replaced Connolly at half time and helped Brighton secure one of the biggest results in their history, a 0-0 draw against a star-studded Manchester City side last Sunday.

“Dee is a player who will never stop running,” added Connolly.

“She is everywhere on the pitch and Sunday in the second half she was in positions many times that saved us. She got in position to block the shot, block the pass that we needed and she is just someone you can always rely on.

“For us having someone of her quality come in to help us as a team, help us as a unit and keep raising the standard that we want is great.

“She will help Brighton move up the table, move up in rankings and become one of those clubs that can compete.

“I know her very well and I don’t think you could meet a better person. Dee is someone that will always have your back and that translates onto the pitch a lot of the time.

“She is a very consistent player, she always performs in the big games.”

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