Irish women’s team announce Denmark and Belgium friendlies

Clare Shine returns to what is a strong provisional squad of 32 named by Vera Pauw

The Irish women's team will play games against Denmark and Belgium in the lead up to next month's World Cup qualifying draw, the FAI has announced, with manager Vera Pauw using the opportunity to work with her players ahead of the new campaign's start.

Denmark will visit Tallaght in a couple of week’s time for a game scheduled for April 8th and Pauw and her players will then head to Brussels for the second of the two fixtures which will take place three days later.

Clare Shine returns to what is a strong provisional squad of 32 named by Pauw for the games. Shelbourne midfielders Emily Whelan, Jamie Finn and Jessica Ziu are among the 10 home based players included.

“There were a lot of positives to take from our Euro qualifying campaign,” says Pauw, “but this is a new tournament and that means we have to focus on that. The goal is to qualify for the finals in Australia and New Zealand, but we know that it won’t be easy, and we must wait to discover our opponents in the qualifying draw.

“With the world still fighting back against the Covid-19 pandemic, we are very grateful to have the opportunity to play these games which will make a significant difference to our preparation for the 2023 World Cup qualifiers due to start in September.”

Squad: Grace Moloney (Reading), Courtney Brosnan (West Ham United), Marie Hourihan (SC Braga), Niamh Reid-Burke (Peamount United), Keeva Keenan (Celtic), Claire O'Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Louise Quinn (Fiorentina), Diane Caldwell (North Carolina Courage), Niamh Farrelly (Glasgow City), Claire Walsh (Peamount United), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Éabha O'Mahony (Cork City), Áine O'Gorman (Peamount United), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Jamie Finn (Shelbourne), Hayley Nolan (London City Lionesses), Ruesha Littlejohn (Birmingham City), Alli Murphy (London City Lionesses), Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Heather Payne (Florida State University), Leanne Kiernan (West Ham United), Isibeal Atkinson (Celtic), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Rianna Jarrett (Brighton & Hove Albion), Kyra Carusa (HB Hoge), Saoirse Noonan (Shelbourne), Clare Shine (Glasgow City), Stephanie Roche (Peamount United).

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