THREE Cork girls will be part of the the Republic of Ireland Women’s U17 soccer squad for a double-header friendly against Iceland.
It is preparation for their UEFA European Championship Elite round qualifiers.
Goalkeeper Leah Hayes (Cork City), midfielder Olivia Gibson (Cork City), and Laura Shine (Wilton United) will be key players in both games.
All three are exceptional, with Shine and Gibson amongst the best finishers in the country.
Ireland manager, James Scott, will bring his squad to Waterford for the games on Friday, February 14th, and Sunday, February 16th, and Waterford will also be their base for the Elite round clashes in March.
Having scored 21 goals in qualifying round victories over Albania, Lithuania, and Greece, the next task is to find a way past Denmark, Serbia, and Austria, if Ireland are to advance to the finals tournament, in Sweden.
First up are two games against Iceland, the first in the RSC, the second in Tramore AFC. “The squad and staff are really looking forward to the games against Iceland.
“We played against them twice last year in Iceland and they proved to be excellent opponents, so it will be a very good test, ahead of the Elite qualifiers in March,” said Scott.
“Over the last few months, there have been national training days and now we have selected 20 players for this double-header friendly.
“Five of the players are still eligible for the U16s and Jessie Stapleton will make her debut at U17 level.
“Our base for the friendlies will be Waterford and this will also be our venue for the Elite qualifiers.
“We will be able to familiarise ourselves with the stadium, hotel, and training ground.
“We would like to call on the local people to come support the team, in what I’m sure will be two entertaining games.”
Republic of Ireland Women’s U17 Squad:
Goalkeepers: Rugile Askalnyte (Bohemians), Leah Hayes (Cork City); Defenders: Jessie Stapleton (Cherry Orchard), Jenna Slattery (Fairview Rangers), Kate Slevin (Galway WFC), Shaun Brennan (Galway WFC), Therese Kinneavey (Galway WFC), Della Doherty (Peamount United), Rebecca Watkins (Peamount United), Aimee Bates Crosbie (Wexford Youths); Midfielders: Olivia Gibson (Cork City), Aiobheann Clancy (Limerick), Kate O’Dowd (Peamount United), Muireann Devanney (Sligo Rovers), Ellen Molloy (Thomastown United); Forwards: Aoife Horgan (Limerick), Orlagh Fitzpatrick (Peamount United), Erin McLaughlin (Sion Swifts), Kerry Brown (Sion Swifts), Laura Shine (Wilton United)
International Friendly: Republic of Ireland v Iceland Friday, February 14; KO 19:00 RSC, Waterford
U17 International Friendly: Republic of Ireland v Iceland Sunday, February 16, KO 14:00 Tramore AFC, Waterford.