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20/09/2021

Longford's Melissa O'Kane included in Republic of Ireland Women's U19s training camp squad

Longford's Melissa O'Kane included in Republic of Ireland Women's U19s training camp squad

Longford's Melissa O'Kane during the Women's U19 International Friendly between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland at AUL Complex in Dublin Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

The Republic of Ireland Women's Under-19s will base themselves in Limerick for two training camps in August.

Head Coach Dave Connell - who knows Limerick well having played and managed there during his League of Ireland days - has selected a 26-player squad - including Longford's Melissa O'Kane (who plays her club football with Athlone Town) - to take a closer look at from August 8-11 and then again from August 22-25.

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Three of Melissa's Athlone team mates are also in the squad - goalkeeper Ciara Glackin, midfielder Muireann Devaney and attacker Emily Corbet. 

Fresh from beating Northern Ireland in two friendly games in June, Ireland are continuing preparations for their UEFA Women's Under-19 European Championship qualifiers in October and these training camps will help Connell identify players for those key games.

There will also be a four-team mini tournament in Portugal in September, but the focus will firstly be on the two four-day training spells in Limerick.

Connell said: "We were happy with our performances against Northern Ireland in June, even though we were missing a couple of players. This training camp, broken up into two spells, gives us time to work with a larger selection of players and shape our squad going forward.

"We appreciate that this is a busy period for the players but it's important that we make the most of every opportunity to get on the pitch and work together. That is why these camps have been arranged and why we will be heading to Portugal in September.

"We're under no illusion just how difficult our Qualifying Group is with England, Northern Ireland and Switzerland, so we have to be ready to meet those challenges head on. We feel that we have a talented group of players, but nothing is won on talent alone, we have to earn everything that we get.

"It has been a busy period with our coaching staff & scouts travelling all around the country to monitor players at underage level, in the SSE Airtricity Women's National League and the EA SPORTS Women's National Underage League. A number of players are likely to be added to the second of our two training camps.

"It's also important that we continue to follow Government & Sport Ireland protocols around COVID-19 to ensure everyone remains safe. We fully acknowledge the allowances given to us to host these training camps and we will make the most of the time that we have together."

Included in the squad are 15 players who have featured this season in the SSE Airtricity Women's National League, while goalkeeper Summer Lawless has been promoted from Tom Elmes's Women's Under-16 squad, where she recently played against England.

Republic of Ireland Women's Under-19 Squad
Goalkeepers: Rugile Askalnyte (DLR Waves), Ciara Glackin (Athlone Town), Summer Lawless (Peamount United)
Defenders: Abby Tuthill (Shamrock Rovers), Jenna Slattery (Treaty United), Therese Kinnevey (Galway WFC), Della Doherty (Wexford Youths), Jessie Stapleton (Shelbourne), Chloe McCarthy (DLR Waves), Saoirse Healy (Galway WFC), Eve O'Sullivan (Treaty United), Shauna Brennan (Galway WFC)
Midfielders: Aoibheann Clancy (Wexford Youths), Melissa O'Kane (Athlone Town), Eva Mangan (Cork City), Kate O'Dowd (Peamount United), Teegan Lynch (Sion Swifts), Muireann Devaney (Athlone Town), Marie Reynolds (Shamrock Rovers), Nicola McNamara (Galway WFC)
Forwards: Aoife Horgan (Treaty United), Rebecca Watkins (Peamount United), Erin McLaughlin (Sion Swifts), Emily Corbet (Athlone Town), Kelly Leahy (Cork City), Kerry Brown (Sion Swifts)

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