Tuesday 27 September 2016

McCabe joins famous Irish trail to Arsenal

John Fallon

Published 24/12/2015 | 02:30

Katie McCabe has joined Arsenal from Shelbourne. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
Katie McCabe has joined Arsenal from Shelbourne. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Katie McCabe will aim to sustain the successful Irish tradition at Arsenal's ladies after agreeing a deal to join from Shelbourne.

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Although Arsene Wenger last afforded an Irish-born player league action all of 16 years ago, when Graham Barrett featured as a substitute against Sunderland, the female section of the Gunners has been populated by girls in green during the ensuing period.

Ireland captain Emma Byrne will begin her 17th year at the club when the season kicks off in March, while Yvonne Tracy and Niamh Fahey were part of their UEFA Champions Cup triumph in 2007 before moving on, the latter joining rivals and current title-holders Chelsea.

Newcomer McCabe, at 20, is considered one of Ireland's finest talents.

The sister of Shamrock Rovers winger Gary broke into the Ireland senior squad this year, winning the last of her six caps in the win over Portugal in October.

Sustained

That European Championship qualifier proved to be McCabe's last action of 2015 as a quad muscle injury sustained in Moreira kept her out of the tie against top seeds Spain and the FAI Women's Cup final last month.

The previous year had seen the Dubliner spearhead Ireland's surge to the U-19 European Championship semi-finals in Norway and score in Raheny United's victory over UCD Waves in the FAI Women's Cup final.

Arsenal have secured a coup in recruiting McCabe, viewing her as an integral element to their attempt at reclaiming the dominance they enjoyed in English women's football before Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea boosted their budgets.

Irish Independent

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