Ronan praise for Stephanie
Republic of Ireland Women's National Team manager Sue Ronan has named a 21-strong squad for the Winter Training Camp in La Manga which will feature a match against Norway on Thursday, January 15.
The squad includes five uncapped players including two members of the U19 team which reached the semi-finals of last year's UEFA European U19 Championship - Raheny United defender Lauren Dwyer and forward Katie McCabe. They are joined by Wexford Youths Women's AFC striker Rhianna Jarrett, who has just returned playing college football from America, and her club colleague Carol Breen who was named Continental Tyres Women's National League Player of the Month for October. The fifth newcomer is 28-year-old English-based midfielder Emma Beckett who is currently unattached after spells at Watford, Fulham, Millwall, Charlton Athletic and Northampton.
Ronan was joined at the press conference in the Aviva Stadium by FIFA Puskás Award nominee Stephanie Roche and UCD Waves captain Áine O'Gorman. Roche will miss the first day of the La Manga Camp in order to attend the Ballon d'Or ceremony in Zurich but will link up with the squad the following day.
"It's fantastic for Stephanie and for women's football. The goal is in the top three on merit and it's been extremely heartening to see all the compliments her skills have earned from some of the biggest names in the game," she said. "Nobody involved in Irish women's football was surprised by her goal because she does that all the time but it is fantastic that it has been recognised on the world stage."
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND WOMEN'S SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Niamh Reid-Burke (Raheny United).
Defenders: Aine O'Gorman (UCD Waves), Louise Quinn (Elskilstuna United)
Niamh Fahey (Chelsea), Megan Campbell (Florida State University), Sophie Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion), Lauren Dwyer (Raheny United).
Midfielders: Ciara Grant (UCD Waves), Rachel Graham (Raheny United), Carol Breen (Wexford Youths Women's AFC), Diane Caldwell (Avaldsnes), Denise O'Sullivan (Glasgow City), Emma Beckett (Unattached),
Forwards: Julie Ann Russell (UCD Waves), Siobhan Killeen (Raheny United), Katie McCabe (Raheny United), Rianna Jarrett (Wexford Youths Women's AFC), Fiona O'Sullivan (Notts County), Ruesha Littlejohn (Unattached), Stephanie Roche (ASPTT Albi).