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O'Gorman back to answer Ireland's call


Pauw wants two wins from upcoming games

Pauw wants two wins from upcoming games

Pauw wants two wins from upcoming games

Áine O'Gorman is set to win her 101st cap next month after Ireland women's manager Vera Pauw called her out of retirement for the crucial European Championship double-header against Greece and Montenegro.

The Peamount United midfielder called a halt to her international career in late 2018 after earning her 100th cap against Norway.

With her former club boss Eileen Gleeson joining the FAI as assistant to new manager Pauw last September, talk of the utility player reversing her decision intensified.

Speaking today as she announced her provisional 26-strong squad for the games on March 5 and 11, the Dutchwoman confirmed the management team made the first approach to the 30-year-old.

Furthermore, a role on the pitch looks inevitable as the Irish look to consolidate second place behind runaway leaders Germany in Group I.

"We have injuries in both full-back positions, with Keeva Keenan and Megan Campbell both ruled out," said Pauw. "The intention to see who is best in those positions but we wouldn't bring Áine in if she couldn't make an impact on the field."

Also back in the squad are Courtney Brosnan, Harriet Scott, Megan Connolly, Niamh Farrelly, Ruesha Littlejohn and Heather Payne, who all missed last November's draw away to Greece. The squad, which will be trimmed to 23, will meet up on Friday week.

Pauw's team are unbeaten after three games and she insists six points are imperative against the two nations seeded below them in the pool.

Conceding a late equaliser in Athens means Ireland will have to negotiate a play-off to reach a first-ever major tournament.

Ireland women's squad

Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (SC Braga), Grace Moloney (Reading), Courtney Brosnan (West Ham United), Niamh Reid Burke (Peamount United)

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Aine O'Gorman (Peamount United), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O'Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Jamie Finn (Shelbourne), Claire Walsh (Peamount United), Chloe Mustaki (Charlton Athletic)

Midfielders: Julie-Ann Russell (Sydney University), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Hayley Nolan (University of Hartford), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Ruesha Littlejohn (West Ham United)

Forwards: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Clare Shine (Glasgow City), Heather Payne (Florida State University), Leanne Kiernan (West Ham United), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Rianna Jarrett (Brighton & Hove Albion)

UEFA 2021 Women's European Championship Qualifying - Group I: Republic of Ireland v Greece, Thursday, March 5, Tallaght Stadium (7.15pm); Montenegro v Republic of Ireland, Wednesday, March 11, Pod Malim Brdom, Budva (3.0pm Irish time).