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Pauw names squad for her crunch clash


Vera Pauw. Photo: Sportsfile

Vera Pauw. Photo: Sportsfile

Vera Pauw. Photo: Sportsfile

Manager Vera Pauw has confirmed a 30-player squad for what is their penultimate game in Group I away to Ukraine on October 23 when they know that a point would guarantee a play-off slot for next summer's Euro 2022.

The squad will be trimmed within a fortnight, although the nine players featured from the Women's National League will hearten a minority in the domestic game who have quibbled at the Dutch coach's non-attendance at games.

Pauw was forced to defend herself last month, stating that while she does not attend matches due to Covid-19 difficulties, she does watch every match and her assistant Eileen Gleeson also attends most league encounters.

While a point can secure a play-off, Ireland, still buoyant despite their first defeat in the group to runaway leaders Germany last time out, will be keen to match Pauw's debut victory in Tallaght, as there are three automatic berths available for the best-placed runners-up.

Group leaders Germany will visit Dublin on December 1 to conclude their qualification campaign. Ireland will hope by then theirs is still ongoing.

Ukraine trail the Irish by seven points but have a game in hand and they were fiendishly tricky in the reverse fixture last year.

Ireland play Ukraine in the Obolon Arena in Kiev on Friday, October 23 (KO 4.30pm Irish time).

Rep of Ireland WNT Squad - Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (SC Braga), Courtney Brosnan (West Ham United), Grace Moloney (Reading), Niamh Reid-Burke (Peamount United)

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Reading), Keeva Keenan (Celtic), Claire Walsh (Peamount United), Louise Quinn (Fiorentina), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O'Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne), Aine O'Gorman (Peamount United)

Midfielders: Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Jamie Finn (Shelbourne), Denise O'Sullivan (Brighton & Hove Albion - on loan from NC Courage), Alli Murphy (London City Lionesses), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount Utd), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Hayley Nolan (London City Lionesses), Ruesha Littlejohn (Leicester City), Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Stephanie Roche (Peamount Utd), Julie-Ann Russell (Sydney U)

Forwards: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Heather Payne (Florida State U), Leanne Kiernan (West Ham Utd), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Rianna Jarrett (Brighton & Hove Albion), Kyra Carusa (HB Hoge)