FOUR Cork City players recently helped the Republic of Ireland U19 women’s qualify for the Elite Round of the UEFA Women’s U19 European Championships with a game to spare.
Maria O’Sullivan, Zara Foley and Eabha O’Mahony played the full 90 minutes in the Girls in Green’s win against Montenegro in the Netherlands on Saturday afternoon while Sophie Liston also made an impact after coming on as a substitute.
Interestingly the three Cork-born players are all current or past pupils of Ballincollig Community School.
O’Sullivan made her full competitive debut in goal for Ireland and kept a clean sheet in that 3-0 victory and speaking on behalf of the Cork City women’s team Chris O’Mahony expressed his delight on the achievement of all four of the club’s talented youngsters.
“Everyone at Cork City is delighted with how well the girls are doing at International level,” said O’Mahony.
“We have recently had two girls from our U17 squad and one from our Academy in the Irish U17 team that topped their qualifying group.
“Now we have the four girls doing really well with the Irish U19s and I think it’s fair to say we had another couple of players who were very unlucky to miss out on the under 19 squad.
“To have all these players doing so well at international level and a good few more players on the international radar shows the club are doing a lot of things right.
“Most of the Cork City players on the international squads have been with us since joining our Academy and have worked their way into our National League teams and are doing really well at International level, which we are delighted with.”
The four players will be hoping to win another Irish cap and get some more minutes on an International stage under their belts when they take on host Nation the Netherlands tonight.
With two wins each, the fixture against the Dutch will decide who tops Group nine of the Qualifying Round with kick-off set for six o’clock Irish time.
After full time, the quartet will return to Leeside ahead of their club’s Munster Derby clash away to Limerick in the Women’s National League on Sunday afternoon.
“I think it shows the importance of not just playing and continually working hard in the National League but taking advantage of the extra training that is available to younger players by joining our Academy,” added O’Mahony.
“We've had two international managers and at least one international scout down to visit our Academy and U17 training in past 12 months and they have all been very complimentary of our set up.
“It's great to get that sort of feedback and hopefully we can keep getting players onto international teams while excelling for Cork City.”