Cork City youngsters named in Ireland squad alongside Connolly and O'Sullivan

Cork City youngsters named in Ireland squad alongside Connolly and O'Sullivan
Cork City's Zara Foley in action against Shelbourne. Picture: Moya Nolan

CORK City rising stars Zara Foley and Eabha O'Mahony have been included in the Ireland senior squad to face Italy on April 9.

The promising teenagers feature in a 20-player squad will meet-up on Monday for a four-day Irish-based camp ahead of travelling to Italy next Friday.

Ireland's rising soccer star Eabha O'Mahony.
Ireland's rising soccer star Eabha O'Mahony.

Megan Connolly who joined Brighton this season and Denise O'Sullivan, currently lining out for North Carolina Courage in the US, are the other Leesiders selected by Colin Bell.

Bell feels the tie is exactly the sort of game the players should be involved in as they step up preparations for the European Championship qualifiers which kick-off in September.

"We beat Wales in the last camp - they are a second seed in the Euros - now we're aiming to see if we can beat a first-seed team because we have Germany in our group, so we need to be comparing ourselves and battling against these kind of nations to be really prepared for the next campaign," said Bell.

Bell explained that preparations have now started in earnest in order to build a squad for the European Championship qualifiers.

He said: "Everything now needs to be really focused. In the last camp we could really tell that now that the draw had been made everybody was really programmed and focused and there was a really good buzz around the place, so we want to continue with that and build from that, keep the momentum going. All the energy that we have will now just be focused on this Euro campaign.

"We need competition for places, it can't be a given that certain players are nominated all the time. Are they performing well enough, is their form good, are they playing for their clubs? But when we have a full squad, I think we have a very good side."

Megan Connolly. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Megan Connolly. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (Brighton and Hove Albion), Grace Maloney (Reading) 

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Diane Caldwell SC Sand), Claire O'Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Megan Campbell (Manchester City), Zara Foley (Cork City), Eabha O'Mahoney (Cork City) 

Midfielders: Tyler Toland (Kildrum Tigers), Megan Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount) 

Denise O'Sullivan answering questions during a visit to her former school, St Mary's on the Hill. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Denise O'Sullivan answering questions during a visit to her former school, St Mary's on the Hill. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Forwards: Amber Barrett (Peamount), Leanne Kiernan (West Ham United), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Rianna Jarrett (Wexford Youths)

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