King relishing Brazil showdown

THE Republic of Ireland women’s U17 side will make history today when they step onto the world stage in Trinidad to face Brazil in the FIFA Women’s U17 World Cup.

Says manager Noel King: “This is a very exciting time for everybody involved in Irish women’s football. It is the first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance for an Irish women’s team at any level and to be facing a team of Brazil’s stature is what World Cups are all about.

“Obviously, Brazil have to be one of the favourites for this tournament. They have won every game in qualifying so we will have to be at our very best if we are to challenge them in this group. As a team, we are taking every game as it comes – it would be an extraordinary outcome if we were to get a positive result against the South American champions. But you just have to look back on our European Championship campaign. Nobody gave us a chance to qualify for the UEFA finals let alone the FIFA World Cup but the team have shown tremendous resilience, skill and strength to come this far and I know that they will be eager to perform to the best of their abilities on this world stage.”

Kick-off in the Larry Gomes Stadium, Trinidad is at 11am Irish time. After Brazil, Ireland’s other group opponents will be Canada and Ghana.

Meanwhile, three Airtricity League players have been drafted into the Irish men’s U21 squad for their final European Championship qualifier in Turkey on Tuesday.

Paddy Madden (Bohemians), Seamus Conneely (Galway United) and Karl Sheppard (Galway United) have all been called-up, as the Irish will be without Alan Judge (groin), Gavin Gunning (groin), Anthony Stokes (suspended), Eddie Nolan (suspended) and Shane O’Connor (hamstring).


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