Megan Campbell has enjoyed some major football occasions during her blossoming career but the Ireland women’s international will forever savour her role in Manchester City’s FA Cup win last month.
City beat Birmingham City 4-1 in front of 35,000 fans at Wembley, not a surprise given the gulf in budgets between the teams, but the Drogheda woman’s return to the side to break an injury-plagued couple of years was one of the endearing subplots.
Tonight’s international against Iceland at Tallaght Stadium (7.30pm) provides another platform to get herself back at full tilt.
Setbacks have been a recurrent theme since the 23-year-old was tipped for greatness as a teen. It was her wonder goal that defeated Germany in the 2010 Euro U17 final and she starred at the World Cup later that year.
Campbell’s throw-ins became equally important as her wand of a left-foot and it was from two of those scuds the senior team scored twice to push Germany all the way in a 3-2 World Cup qualifiers defeat back in 2014.
Ankle trouble began to trouble the left-back that year and she’s had few bouts in respite since moving back from Florida in 2016 to join the City revolution. They’ve invested heavily in the squad, recruiting USA’s World Cup hat-trick heroine Carli Llyod during their Champions League campaign, and Campbell is vying with international talent for a spot in the team.
Her appearance at Wembley, therefore, was a personal shock. Yet she didn’t allow it to distract as two assists were provided in the rout. “It was an incredible experience playing in front of such a large crowd.
“The injuries had made it a difficult year but I was delighted to get my hands on the trophy at the end.” Having missed much of the season, this will be Campbell’s first time playing under Ireland manager Colin Bell and the friendly against a team preparing for upcoming Euro finals acts as an audition for the opening World Cup qualifier against N Ireland on September 19.
E Byrne (Brighton & Hove Albion); S Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion), L Quinn (Arsenal), N Fahey (Chelsea), M Campbell (Manchester City); D Caldwell (SC Sand), K Duggan (UCD Waves); K McCabe (Arsenal), D O’Sullivan (Houston Dash), M Connolly (Florida State University); A O’Gorman (UCD Waves).
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