Girls in Green take on Iceland in Tallaght tonight

The Girls in Green are back in Tallaght tonight for a friendly with Iceland as they continue preparations for the 2019 World Cup qualifiers which begin in September.

Since new manager Colin Bell took over the team have only conceded in one of the five games and recorded wins over Wales, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Ireland have been drawn against Norway, Netherlands, Slovakia and Northern Ireland in their qualification group which kicks off in the Autumn with a derby away to Northern Ireland.

Local star Katie McCabe should start in a team which will include highly rated defender Megan Campbell for the first time in over a year.

The Manchester City defender returns after missing the last 15 months of international duty due to a broken foot injury she sustained against Austria in the Cyprus Cup in March 2016.

Having recently returned to the starting XI for her club side, Campbell could see her first taste of action since Colin Bells appointment tonight in Tallaght Stadium.

Speaking earlier in the week, Megan spoke of her delight at being back in the Ireland squad.

She said:

“It has been a difficult year or so. It was a difficult injury to overcome and it’s been such a long time since I was last with the squad.

“I’ve enjoyed being back in the squad and I’m ready to be a part of it again.

“There are some new, old and young faces which is great and I’m really looking forward to the occasion.

“It’s been different working with Colin. I really hope working him and his different methods can improve me as a player and I’m sure he can help us kick on as a team.”

Following her return from injury, Megan played a crucial part in Manchester City’s Women’s FA Cup win, claiming two assists in a 4-1 final win over Birmingham City.

Having claimed five assists in her first three games back from injury, Campbell admits she didn’t expect to be able to get upto speed so quickly.

She added: “Honestly, Manchester City are a massive club and that is their mentality to win trophies but I really didn’t expect it.

“I didn’t think I’d be in the starting XI or the squad for the FA Cup final so it was a great feeling to be part of such a great occasion so soon after coming back.

“I think being injured has definitely made me stronger, physically and mentally, and I’m ready to bring that into the international side now. It’s a really good test for us tomorrow as they’re such a strong side but we need to use it well ahead of the World Cup qualifier.”

Women’s Player of the Year Karen Duggan believes Iceland could be their toughest test under Colin Bell yet, with the Icelandic side preparing for the European Championships in July.

UCD Waves midfielder Karen said:

“It is going to be a difficult game for us as they’ve got plenty of quality and we need to be at our very best throughout.

“We’re not really seeing it as a friendly. We want to carry on the form we’ve had this year and bring it into the World Cup qualification campaign.

“We’ve had some really good results which started at the Cyprus Cup in February and I really see an added determination about the squad now we’ve learnt our qualification opponents for the campaign.

“It’s going to be really special. I think all of us are really looking forward to starting the campaign but playing Northern Ireland will be great.

“You rarely get the opportunity to play a local derby at international level so it will be a great way to start the campaign.

“There is a real focus and it continues against Iceland, and hopefully we can continue the recent progress.”

Tickets for tonights game, which kicks off at 7.30pm, will be on sale on the gate, priced at €5 adults/€2 concessions.

About Padraig Conlon

Padraig Conlon
More on Padraig coming soon.

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