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Saturday 24 August 2019

Man City star Campbell calls on international team-mates to take next step

Megan Campbell. Photo: Donall Farmer
Megan Campbell. Photo: Donall Farmer Newsdesk Newsdesk

Manchester City defender Megan Campbell believes Ireland's chances of reaching a first major tournament would improve by more players turning professional, writes Kristofer McCormack.

Colin Bell's side missed out on the upcoming World Cup and will now set their sights on qualifying for the 2021 European Championships.

Ireland international Campbell feels the key to making that happen will be squad members operating in a more professional environment on a week-to-week basis.

"I think that can only stand to us as a national team," she said at a media launch for RTÉ and TG4's coverage of the Women's World Cup in France.

"You're experiencing football at a higher level, you're training at a higher level, your fitness is going to be a lot better and I think overall it can only then mean when we come together as a team, we'll be better on the pitch."

Her comments, particularly on training, echo sentiments that her manager shared in April.

He spoke of how Irish-based players train two or three times a week compared to their counterparts overseas who often have twice as many sessions.

Turmoil within the FAI would suggest that changes for the professional game at home are not likely soon, but Campbell feels it's up to the players to get more support and she has noticed that FAI attitudes have shifted in recent years.

"I think over the last two to three years, you can see the change that has happened and that they are a lot more behind us," the 25-year-old said of the FAI.

"Obviously the more we perform, the easier it is for us to get that support and backing, so I think that ownership is on us more as players."

Coverage of the Women's World Cup kicks off on TG4 on June 7. Campbell will be featuring as a pundit alongside a number of other big names, including international team-mate Stephanie Roche

Irish Independent

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