Kickstarting the Republic of Ireland’s 3-2 triumph against Australia on Tuesday with a free kick goal in the third minute, Lucy Quinn’s international debut couldn’t have gone more akin to a fantasy.
Although it may well have “been a long time coming” throughout the five year process since she began the journey to accompany the Girls in Green, the current Birmingham City striker told HerSport after the game that she “loved every minute” of her first appearance in Tallaght Stadium.
“Australia were an unbelievable team, and I knew the standard was going to be higher than I’ve played before” she said.
“I didn’t feel too much out of my depth but I’m really excited and I’ve got a lot more to learn.”
“Even just to have been on the pitch would have been amazing but to start the game and get a goal is a dream come true.”
As her namesake, club captain and housemate Louise Quinn admitted “there’s not many people who would take a freekick off Katie McCabe to be honest”, but after just a few moments on the pitch Lucy had the confidence to go and do just that.
“A big shout out to her” the Sligo affiliated player said.
“Obviously it was myself and Katie [McCabe] over the ball and we just wanted to see how they set up and where the wall was positioned. We decided it would probably be better for a right footer.”
“She told me to try and get a goal and then I managed to do that so a massive thanks to her.”
And her own reaction to the strike?
“I couldn’t really believe it!” commented the 27 year old.
“It was early in the game as well and I just couldn’t believe it. I had to keep my head and play for the rest of the time but yeah an unbelievable feeling.”
Her clearance to don the emerald jersey only came to fruition a week before tip-off and with everything from locating files to a global pandemic having hindered the pace of the arrangement the former Portsmouth, Yeovil Town and Tottenham Hotspur player was up against it.
“This has been a really long process but something I always wanted to do” she said.
“It took a long time trying to get hold of family records. It’s not always easy, and then with Brexit and Covid, there were speed bumps on the way. To even just be in this camp, I was happy to make my family proud.”
Another such “speed bump” was the small matter of her outing with an English beach footballing side, but Quinn was quick to stress that “it wasn’t a FIFA affiliated tournament” nor was it in a official setting.
“I have clearance from the English FA to say that I never represented them competitively which, again, was a little bit of extra time in the process to get my first cap.”
“Beach soccer wasn’t one really.”
And for that Vera Pauw and her squad may prove very grateful if Ireland’s new number 29 is to replicate her performance a few days ago in the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.