The Girls in Green face the might of Spain this afternoon (KO 2pm) in what promises to be a fascinating Euro 2017 qualifier.
Manager Sue Ronan will be hoping her exciting young side put in a similar performance to the one that saw them claim an excellent 2-1 win away to Portugal last month.
Spain represent a formidable challenge for the Irish team but hopefully the support of a noisy Tallaght Stadium will help get them over the line.
Local girl Katie McCabe, one of Ireland’s outstanding star players, is unfortunately ruled out with a quad injury picked up against Portugal, Dora Gorman is still sidelined with a cruciate injury and Megan Campbell, Ciara Grant and Megan Connolly all miss out due to college commitments.
Speaking at Tallaght Stadium yesterday, Sue Ronan said a win against the Spanish would give her side a great chance of securing qualification.
“We have a great opportunity to put ourselves right in the mix for first place in the group by winning this game and we will be looking to take all three points,” she said.
“We played well against Finland but didn’t take any chances we created so I was delighted that we got two goals in Portugal.
“Spain are a very good side but we have been in camp since Sunday and we have done our homework, we’re really looking forward to this game. We played Spain last April in a friendly before they went to the World Cup and while we lost 1-0 we did play well and should have got a draw, but the referee disallowed a perfectly good goal by Louise Quinn near the end. They’re very technical although they have that bit of directness too but they won’t like playing against us.”
She also hopes her side can match the achievements of the men who secured Euro qualification this month.
“It’s a great incentive and it’s certainly given the girls a lot to aspire to. We’d love to make it to the finals also and that’s been the mission from the very beginning,” she said.
“We’re all very proud of what the guys have done and it gives a big boost to the football family here in Ireland so hopefully we can follow them.”
A full schedule of televised Europa Cup matches today means the game has had to be fixed for 2pm but a promotional campaign among schools means groups from as far away as Cork will be travelling to Tallaght to support the side and also experience the Continental Tyres Fan Zone which will be open before the game and at half-time.