The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team will travel to Iceland for an international friendly double header in June.
Vera Pauw’s squad will face the host nation in Reykjavik in two clashes pencilled in for June 11th and June 15th. The two games will act as final preparations for the squad ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifiers which start in September.
News of these clashes has finalised Vera Pauw’s schedule for the year, with the games set to offer the squad valuable warm up opportunities prior to the start of the qualifiers– where Ireland face some stern competition in their quest to qualify for the major tournament which will take place in Australia and New Zealand. Ireland were drawn into Group A alongside Sweden, Finland, Slovakia and Georgia and so, the squad will look to avail of this opportunity to best prepare themselves for these crunch, high stakes qualifying fixtures which kick off on the 17th of September away to Georgia.
CONFIRMED | WNT Friendly Games
Two matches in Reykjavik for Vera Pauw’s squad to prepare for #FIFAWWC qualifiers
— FAIreland ⚽️ (@FAIreland) May 18, 2021
Speaking of the news of these warm up friendlies, manager Vera Pauw has emphasised the importance of the two clashes with Iceland– a team she feels will offer the Republic of Ireland a high standard of competition.
““It is really important that we get to use this international window to continue our preparations for the 2023 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. We have made a lot of positive strides in recent months in each of our sessions together and this week, with two tough games, will provide us with another opportunity to continue that work,” said Pauw.
“For this window, we had many different options but ultimately we chose to play against Iceland, who are ranked 17th in the World and have qualified for EURO 2022. Just like our decision to play Denmark and Belgium in April, we want to test ourselves against high calibre opposition.
“It is crucial that we maintain the standards that we have raised in our last few camps and work harder to get even better. It’s clear to see that the more time that the staff get to have with the players there are noticeable improvements made. I look forward to meeting up with the players and staff again to continue that work.
Pauw also expressed gratitude to those who have made the clashes possible. She added:
“Once again, I would like to thank the Government, the Health Service Executive, Sport Ireland and everyone at the FAI for making these games possible. We do not take our elite status for granted during this COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to follow the protocols and the advice of our medical staff.”
Ireland will hope to build on the last month’s friendly clashes against Denmark and Belgium. Despite losing both games 1-0, the squad performed considerably well in both games against FIFA World Ranked 16th (Denmark) and 18th (Belgium) and were extremely unlucky to come away from both games without a result following impressive spells of dominance in each game. It is clear to see they are moving in the right direction under the watchful eye of the experienced Dutch manager.
With the quality being showcased within this year’s Women’s National League and with many of our overseas players coming off the back of impressive seasons, many of Pauw’s squad members playing both domestically and further afield are in fine form. It is expected that June’s clashes with Iceland will offer the squad an opportunity to spend further, invaluable time together as a unit and in turn have the side primed and in a healthy position ahead of the crunch qualifiers.