Republic of Ireland vs Northern Ireland
LORRAINE COUNIHAN’S SCHOOLS SELECT will take on Northern Ireland for a competitive outing on Sunday, February 26 at the AUL Complex, Clonshaugh with a 1.30pm kick off scheduled.
The Republic of Ireland outfit are still in trial process ahead the Bob Docherty Cup which will take place in the same venue from April 9 to 12 as a squad of 18 players will be named next month.
Last season Counihan’s side recorded a slender victory over Northern Ireland in Oriel Park. Dundalk as Lilly Hengerer came off the bench and bagged the match winner at the death to seal victory. It was bittersweet for the American teenager who studies in Dominican College, Taylor’s Hill as she was a late call up to the squad and joined twin sister Meghen in the match day line-up.
Their opposition is also a development squad that will feature on Sunday with the players selected from their Regional Excellence Centres throughout the North. It will definitely be a good run out for the Republic of Ireland who need some competitive football under their belt with a new look side starring.
Counihan has been fortunate to hold onto three players from last season that are still eligible for their new campaign. Eabha O’Mahony (Mount Mercy College, Cork), Zara Foley (Ballincollig Community School) and Jessica Ziu (Larkin Community College, Cathal Brugha Street) who all featured heavily in the Bob Docherty Cup in Dragon Park, Wales in 2016 will no doubt strengthen the Republic of Ireland cast.
One player to miss out on the Sunday showdown will be Dominican College, Taylor’s Hill scholar Emilia Koziel who has been ruled out due to injury. The youngster may miss her Schools National Cup Final which takes place in Athlone Town FC on Tuesday as they face Irish goalkeeper Courtney Maguire’s St. Laurence College, Loughlinstown in the Cup decider.
Koziel will hopefully be fit to return to the squad for their penultimate trial as they take on England on Sunday, March 12. This annual International Friendly, named the John Read Cup has taken place in recent years with England enjoying the upper hand. Last year the squad travelled to Manchester to take on the Lioness. A solitary goal from Jody Hutton five minutes into the restart was enough for Williams’ side to claim yet another victory against the Irish.
Will this be Counihan’s year to secure the Bob Docherty Cup on home soil? The Republic of Ireland have secured runners up spot for the third consecutive year so the management team would be delighted to take the honours this time out.
The squad’s final trial session before their International tournament is pencilled in for Saturday, March 25 in Abbotstown.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND | Courtney Maguire (St. Laurence's College, Loughlinstown), Mia Dodds (Presentation Secondary School, Warrenmount), Ellie Ferguson (Coláiste na hInse, Laytown), Nadine Clare & Shauna Carroll (both Loreto Secondary School, Foxrock), Taylor White (St. Dominic’s College, Cabra), Jessica Ziu (Larkin CC, Cathal Brugha Street), Kayla Brady (Wilson's Hospital School, Multyfarnham), Emily Whelan (Ardgillan Community College, Balbriggan), Aoibheann Clancy (Presentation Secondary School, Thurles), Zara Foley (Ballincollig Community School), Sophie Liston (Scoil Mhuire agus Ide, Newcastle West), Eabha O’Mahony (Mount Mercy College, Cork), Ria McPhilbin (Coláiste Iognáid), Kelsey Munroe (Ballinrobe Community School), Kate O’Dowd (St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghdereen), Muireann Devanney (St. Clare’s Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton), Anna Fahy (St. Paul’s Secondary School, Oughterard), Neve Scanlon (Deele College, Raphoe), Erin McLaughlin (Carndonagh Community School)
MANAGEMENT | Lorraine COUNIHAN, Manager (Coláiste Mhuire, Buttevant), Maureen O’DONNELL, Assistant Manager (Deele College, Raphoe), Richard BERKELEY, Coach (Sancta Maria College, Louisburgh), David ROONEY, GK Coach, Aoife BURKE, Physio
NORTHERN IRELAND | Maddie Clifford, Kirsty Cameron, Ellie Duffy, Rachel McLaren, Jessica Magee, Joely Andrews, Kerry Beattie, Toni Leigh Finnegan, Casey Howe, Carla Devine, Leah McEvoy , Cora Morgan, Cara Mervyn, Anna Wilson, Teegan Lynch, Jessica Rea, Erin Canavann, Aimelee Peachey
MANAGEMENT | Gail Redmond, Danielle McDowell, Imogen Porter and Andy Smyth.