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27/09/2021

Longford’s Melissa O’Kane off to Portugal with the Republic of Ireland U-19 Women’s soccer squad

Games against Norway, Denmark and the host nation in a mini tournament

melissa o'kane

Melissa O'Kane in action for the Republic of Ireland against Northern Ireland in the Women's U-19 International Friendly in June Pic: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

17-year-old Melissa O’Kane from Ardagh has been included in the Republic of Ireland U-19 Women’s soccer squad to compete in a mini tournament in Portugal next week.

The talented O’Kane was spotted in the midfield role she plays for Athlone Town in the Women’s National League and made her mark on the international stage back at the beginning of June when she started in the first of the friendly double-header against Northern Ireland. 

Three games in five days in Portugal will provide the perfect test for the Republic of Ireland Women's Under-19s as they continue to strengthen their squad.

Dave Connell's team will travel to Portugal next week to take on the host nation, as well as Norway and Denmark in a mini tournament that will allow him to see his players up against elite opposition.

Ireland had two training camps in Limerick, which came off the back of playing Northern Ireland, as they ramp up preparations for their UEFA Under-19 Women's European Championship qualifiers in October against England, Northern Ireland and Switzerland. 

Connell said: "We are getting closer to our UEFA European Championship qualifiers and need to make the most of every opportunity that we can have with the players. That is why our recent training camps in Limerick were so crucial.

"But there is nothing like playing games against good teams, so going to Portugal to take on three teams who are in the top tier of women's underage football will be great for us and we are looking forward to the challenge.

"We have selected a strong squad for these games, but it was difficult leaving some other players out and they should not feel that the door is closed. We will keep an open mind and judge players on their performances for club and country over the coming weeks."

The games in Portugal will be played at the Portuguese FA HQ, Cidade do Futebol, in Lisbon.

Republic of Ireland Women's Under-19 Squad

Goalkeepers: Rugile Auskalnyte (DLR Waves), Savanna Duffy (Asane, Norway)

Defenders: Therese Kinnevey (Galway WFC), Teegan Lynch (Wexford Youths), Jessie Stapleton (Shelbourne), Della Doherty (Wexford Youths), Eve O'Sullivan (Treaty United), Shauna Brennan (Galway WFC)

Midfielders: Aoibheann Clancy (Wexford Youths), Nicole McNamara (Galway WFC), Abby Tuthill (Shamrock Rovers), Eva Mangan (Cork City), Muireann Devaney (Athlone Town), Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths), Jenna Slattery (Treaty United), Maria Reynolds (Shamrock Rovers), Kate Slevin (Galway WFC), Melissa O'Kane (Athlone Town)

Forwards: Rebecca Watkins (Peamount United), Kerry Brown (Sion Swifts), Emma Doherty (Donegal Women's League), Erin McLaughlin (Sion Swifts)

International Friendly Games

Thursday, September 16 | Republic of Ireland WU19 v Norway WU19 | KO TBC

Saturday, September 18 | Portugal WU19 v Republic of Ireland WU19 | KO TBC

Tuesday, September 21 | Denmark WU19 v Republic of Ireland WU19 | KO TBC

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