Tonight, Peamount United face Glasgow City in the first round of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Peamount United are the current Irish champions and take on 13-in a row Scottish champions, Glasgow City.
Here is all you need to know about this evening’s crucial fixture.
Where and when is it on?
The first-round draw of qualification for this year’s UEFA Women’s Champions League took place on October 22nd. Peamount United were handed an away tie against Glasgow City.
The match will take place in Glasgow City’s home ground, Broadwood Stadium at 7pm.
Is the game being shown live?
There had been rumours that RTE were hoping to secure the rights for the match but it appears they haven’t been successful in doing so.
How did Peamount United get here?
The Peas were crowned Women’s National League champions last year for the first time since 2011. After winning the domestic Irish league, they are given the one spot currently available to the Irish teams.
UEFA allocate places in the Champions League depending on the country’s coefficient. Ireland currently have a coefficient ranking of 8,500 which means they are given one place in the competition. The coefficient is measured on the countries’ club’s European performances from 2014–15 to 2018–19.
How have Irish teams done in this competition previously?
Peamount United and Raheny United (now amalgamated with Shelbourne) are the only two Irish teams to have reached the last 32 of the Champions League. This means they made it past the qualifications rounds and qualified for the knockout stages through the group stages.
It was 2011 (ironically also the last time Peamount won the league) where Peamount made history as the first Irish team to reach the last 32 of the Champions League. The Dublin side emerged from the group which included Spanish Champions Rayo Vallecano, Pärnu of Estonia and Slovenian champions, Krka.
Peamount secured wins over the Estonian champions Pärnu 5-1 and Slovenia’s Krka 7-0 before losing 1-0 to Rayo Vallecano as they qualified for the last 32. In the knockout stages, they faced PSG where they were beaten 5-0 over two legs.
Why is this important?
The last time an Irish Women’s National League side qualified for the Champions League came in the 2013/14 season, when Raheney United made it the group stages.
This time around, due to Covid-19, the qualification process has changed. Peamount face Glasgow City in a one-off fixture and should they win, they will have to play one more qualifying game to stand a chance to play in the group stages.
The importance of tonight’s game cannot be understated. It will serve as a key barometer to identify the strength of the Irish domestic league. Not only that, to have an Irish team potentially playing in Europe against some of the best players in the world can only grow the women’s game in this country.
How are Peamount United doing this season?
Peamount, who are managed by James O’Callaghan, have enjoyed a strong campaign so far. They currently sit second in the Women’s National League, one points behind Shelbourne but have a game in hand. The Pea’s are also through to the FAI Cup semi-final and play Wexford next Sunday
Are there any Irish internationals playing?
Peamount boast several Irish internationals at the club. Aine O’Gorman, who has over 100 caps in the green jersey of Ireland is one of five players who have earned Irish caps.
Eleanor Ryan Doyle, Niamh Farrelly, Niamh Reid-Burke and Stephanie Roche make up the other players who have played for Ireland.
Glasgow themselves have two familiar faces in the squad. Tyler and Clare Shine are two more Irish internationals whose names might ring a bell.