23 May 2022

Longford's Melissa O'Kane in Republic of Ireland Women's U19s 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.

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."

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.