Injury-hit Ireland squad look to stun European Champions…
Republic of Ireland defender Harriet Scott believes the Women’s National Team can recover from recent injuries to get a result against the European Champions, the Netherlands.
Colin Bell’s WNT face the Netherlands in the De Goffert Stadion, Nijmegen tonight with kick-off at 7pm (8pm local time) as Ireland look to continue their unbeaten campaign.
Ireland are set to miss a number of players with Megan Campbell likely to miss the entire campaign due to a knee injury whilst Stephanie Roche and Aine O’Gorman are still out from injuries sustained in the 2-0 win over Northern Ireland.
UCD Waves defender Claire Walsh and Celtic striker Ruesha Littlejohn also had to pull out of the squad due to injury whilst Wexford Youths striker Claire O’Riordan also left camp due to family-related matters.
Despite the amount of players ruled out of the Netherlands game, Scott has praised the quality of training during the week-long training camp and believes the side can continue their impressive form.
The WNT defender said: “We’re obviously missing a few big players. Aine and Stephanie are still out and then to lose Megan was a big blow. We all hope that she can get through it and get back to playing for her country as soon as possible.
“We’re going into the game unbeaten and with two wins under our belt so we couldn’t be in a better position coming into it really. They were two really strong performances against Northern Ireland and Slovakia but we know we can continue to improve.
“I think training has shown that there is plenty of quality throughout the squad and the players which have came in have done an excellent job so there’s still plenty of competition for places across the pitch.
“It has been an excellent week of work. We’ve had a longer camp to prepare and the training has been top quality on each day. We’re getting in the right amounts of rest as well so we’re all really looking forward to it.”
Netherlands claimed a 5-0 victory in Slovakia on Friday and also claimed an impressive 1-0 win over top seeds Norway in their opening group game so both sides are unbeaten heading into the fixture.
The De Goffert Stadion will be a 12,000 sell-out on Tuesday night and Scott admits she is looking forward to the atmosphere as Ireland look to claim an important result against the European Champions.
She added: “It’s going to be special. The Netherlands will be a completely different kettle of fish from what we’ve been up against before and the atmosphere will be incredible.
“A lot of our players won’t have played in front of such a big crowd so it will be a great experience. We’ll have to get used to it quickly but I think it will get the best out of us. You want to play in these huge occasions, that’s why you play international football.
“There is no doubt we’ll have to be at our very best to get a result and we’ve done a lot of analysis work on them looking at where they are strong.
“A lot of people have wrote us off already but we don’t think like that. We like a challenge and the attitude and determination is there for us to get the result we need.”
Team News: Ruesha Littlejohn (injury) and Claire O’Riordan (family) have had to pull out of the Netherlands squad. Colin Bell has called in Shelbourne defender Niamh Prior and UCD Waves attacker Dearbhaile Beirne to replace them.
Republic of Ireland WNT squad to face Netherlands
Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (Manchester City), Amanda Budden (Cork City WFC), Amanda McQuillan (Shelbourne)
Defenders: Harriet Scott (Reading), Sophie Perry (Brighton and Hove Albion), Diane Caldwell, (SC Sand), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Aislinn Meaney (Galway), Niamh Prior (Shelbourne).
Midfielders: Tyler Toland (Maiden City), Niamh Fahey (Bordeaux), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves), Denise O’Sullivan (NC Courage), Roma McLaughlin (Shelbourne).
Attackers: Katie McCabe (Arsenal, on loan at Glasgow City), Leanne Kiernan (Shelbourne), Heather Payne (Peamount United), Amber Barrett (Peamount United), Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne), Dearbhaile Beirne (UCD Waves)