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Ellen Molloy back in picture as Vera Pauw names squad for Slovakia and Georgia World Cup qualifiers


Wexford's Ellen Molloy is back in the Ireland squad. Photo: Sportsfile

Wexford's Ellen Molloy is back in the Ireland squad. Photo: Sportsfile

Wexford's Ellen Molloy is back in the Ireland squad. Photo: Sportsfile

Ellen Molloy’s sparkling form with FAI Women’s Cup finalists Wexford Youths and a wondrous goal for the U19s in September has prompted Vera Pauw to reinstate her in the senior squad ahead of the forthcoming World Cup qualification double-headers in Tallaght against Slovakia and Georgia.

Midfielder Ruesha Littlejohn and forward Kyra Carusa are also available again following injuries.

Pauw decided against including Molloy in the group that secured a crucial away win against play-off rivals Finland last month.

“She is doing very well,” said Pauw at the time.

“She had a big dip after Covid, and she is completely back on track but I don’t see playing minutes for us and she needs game minutes now. We probably don’t need her so it’s better she plays. For youth players, it is important to take care of their development.”

A third goalkeeper will be added to the squad once international clearance comes through from FIFA.

Neither Pauw nor the FAI wanted to name the player, as she has played underage for another country, so they will wait for the FIFA process to play out.

Despite being snubbed in nominations for the FAI end of season awards, two Shelbourne players who helped the Dubliners win the SSE Airtricity Women's National League last weekend are included, in the guise of Ciara Grant and Saoirse Noonan.

The Wexford Youths and Shelbourne players will link up with the squad after the EVOKE.ie FAI Women's Cup Final on this coming Sunday- with the rest of the Ireland squad set to attend that game as spectators.

Tickets are selling well for both World Cup qualifiers and fans are encouraged to secure their seat now and turn up on both nights to support the Girls in Green at a ground they have enjoyed great support.

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“As for the venue,” said the Irish boss, “moving our matches to the Aviva Stadium will not help for now, Tallaght is our home, but when Tallaght is too small then we must have a conversation about where we go.

“And yes, someday to play in the Aviva Stadium with the seats full, that would be brilliant, but in front of an empty stadium, no? For now Tallaght is our ground and where we belong.”

Ireland will seek to capitalise on their statement Helsinki victory by despatching the two weaker sides in their qualification pool before the vital return match with Finland in Dublin next month.

“We are really looking forward to these games, Pauw finished.

"It will be difficult to break down Slovakia and Georgia because they will sit back and defend and try to break out on us.

“If we put the intensity on the pitch that we did against Sweden and Finland, and it will not be easy, then we have a big chance of winning the games.”

Republic of Ireland WNT Squad

Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Grace Moloney (Reading)

Defenders: Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Diane Caldwell (North Carolina Courage), Claire Walsh (Glasgow City), Savannah McCarthy (Galway WFC), Éabha O'Mahony (Boston College), Áine O'Gorman (Peamount United)

Midfielders: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ruesha Littlejohn (Aston Villa), Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths), Jamie Finn (Birmingham City), Niamh Farrelly (Glasgow City), Ciara Grant (Shelbourne), Aoibheann Clancy (Wexford Youths), Roma McLaughlin (Central Connecticut State University)

Forwards: Heather Payne (Florida State University), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Kyra Carusa (HB Koge), Leanne Kiernan (Liverpool), Saoirse Noonan (Shelbourne), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City)

2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifying Round - Group A

Republic of Ireland v Slovakia

Thursday, November 25th

Tallaght Stadium

KO 19:00


Republic of Ireland v Georgia

Tuesday, November 30th

Tallaght Stadium

KO 19:00


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