Claire Walsh happy to see Gleeson in Irish fold

Claire Walsh is hoping that a reunion with Eileen Gleeson will help to boost her Ireland career.

Claire Walsh happy to see Gleeson in Irish fold

Claire Walsh is hoping that a reunion with Eileen Gleeson will help to boost her Ireland career.

The defender played under the new Ireland assistant manager at Peamount United and UCD Waves. Walsh earned her first two caps under caretaker manager Tom O’Connor and is aiming for a third in tomorrow’s Euro qualifier against Ukraine (tomorrow, 7.30pm).

Dutchwoman Vera Pauw will be calling the shots in her first selection since being appointed last month. But the influence of her new No 2 Gleeson — a veteran of the domestic scene — is already evident.

Keeva Keenan and Julieanne Russell have both been recalled after being frozen out by Pauw’s predecessor Colin Bell.

Tomorrow’s team will give an indication of Pauw’s plans for the rest of the campaign and Walsh is eager to feature.

She’s part of a Peamount Unitedside chasing a double, and feels she can contribute to what will be a crunch match.

Germany are expected to romp home in the group, with the runners-up spot a shootout between Ireland and Ukraine.

“I know Eileen well and she’s already had a positive influence on the squad,” said Walsh, 24.

I was only 16 when she promoted me to the Peamount’s first-team squad when we travelled to take on PSG in the Champions League. We worked together again when I came back from America to complete my masters in UCD.

“Vera and Eileen got all the home-based players together last week and they got their message across.”

Pauw, formerly coach of Holland, Scotland, and South Africa, was in Tallaght to see Ireland toil in their campaign opener against Montenegro. A goal in each half from Tyler Toland and captain Katie McCabe sealed an underwhelming 2-0 victory over the minnows.

Second seeds Ukraine, despite being hammered 8-0 in both matches against Germany, will present a far sterner test.

“There’s been a lot of video analysis work so far,” explained Walsh, who made her competitive debut against Montenegro.

“It’s always been very simple tips, trying to avoid complicating things.

“For example, she was able to show us better passing options from clips of the previous matches. It’s only when you watch it back that you can see how right she is.”

The FAI have already confirmed that all 8,000 tickets for tomorrow’s qualifier are sold or claimed by season-ticket holders. Should all turn out, it will easily smash the previous attendance record of 4,047 who came to last year’s World Cup qualifier against European champions Holland.

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox