The Republic of Ireland women’s football team are waiting on the green-light for three additional players to join the Irish-set up ahead of the European Championship Qualifiers in March, according to Head Coach Vera Pauw.
Pauw announced a provisional 26-strong squad — which will be trimmed to 23 ahead of the Greece home gain in Tallaght Stadium. However, there may be additions to this as the FAI are awaiting on the international clearance for three players born overseas who have agreed to declare for Ireland.
Although the players have secured their Irish passports, the deadline for international clearance is “very tight”, according to Pauw. Ireland are hoping that they receive this in time for at least one of these players to join up with the squad ahead of the crunch clash against Greece on the 5th March.
“We’re waiting on answers. The passports are in, we’re waiting for answers.”
“It’s in the final phase. It’s players that are only on the edge of coming in, and then we need to see if they’re better again than other players that are coming in.”
Pauw, who still believes Ireland are in a strong position to make the qualification playoffs despite drawing the last qualifying game, says that the side have “no buffer anymore.”
“It will be very difficult away in Ukraine but we must win home from Greece and away in Montenegro,” she said. “We are confident that we can do that. We are confident that we
have a very good squad, and we will do everything in the days that we have together to gain a result.”
“Even if we had won in Greece, though, we would not become one of the best second-placed teams as far as it looks now. So in the end we have not lost anything in Greece except that we have no buffer anymore. We must win at home to Greece and away to Montenegro but we are confident that we can do that.”
Republic of Ireland squad:
Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (SC Braga), Grace Moloney (Reading), Courtney Brosnan (West Ham United), Niamh Reid Burke (Peamount United)
Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Aine O’Gorman (Peamount United), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Jamie Finn (Shelbourne), Claire Walsh (Peamount United), Chloe Mustaki (Charlton Athletic)
Midfielders: Julie-Ann Russell (Sydney University), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Hayley Nolan (University of Hartford), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Ruesha Littlejohn (West Ham United)
Forwards: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Clare Shine (Glasgow City), Heather Payne (Florida State University), Leanne Kiernan (West Ham United), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Rianna Jarrett (Brighton & Hove Albion)