The Ireland U17 women’s team kicked off their U17 European Championship qualifying campaign with an emphatic 14-0 win against Albania. Playing in Stara Pazova, Serbia, the Girls In Green scored seven goals in both halves to run away clear winners in their opening round of the European Championship qualifier.
Ireland took the lead within three minutes after Cork City’s Eabha O’Mahony converted a penalty. The Irish captain was recently named September’s Women’s National League player of the month.
Shelbourne Ladies striker Emily Whelan bagged a hat-trick on her second international appearance whilst FFS Frankfurt’s Emily Kraft scored four goals on her international debut.
Jessica Ziu, Katelyn Keogh and Eabha O’Mahoney scored two goals each while Mia Dodd added a goal herself as Ireland dominated the game from start to finish.
The Irish team will now take on Wales on Thursday before facing Serbia on Sunday. Both these teams will provide stiffer competition than Albanaia however with the firing power of the Girls In Green, Colin Bell’s side will look to create history and qualify for the European Championships next year.
Bell said after the game, “The girls played some excellent football. We started off extremely focused and the attitude from the first minute was absolutely brilliant.
“From the very first minute, we created chances and once we scored, the players just kept going and scored some fantastic goals which is important for the confidence of the players. These goals could be really important at the end of the qualifying round with the goal difference but it also gives us the right mentality.
“We’ve got two tough matches coming up against Wales and Serbia so it’s important we don’t become complacent after this and concentrate on getting two more positive results. We’ll be going to watch the Wales and Serbia match this afternoon so the players can see what we’ll be facing.
“Emily Kraft did really well. She’s a really robust player, very physical and gives us another dimension. She trains five or six times a week in Germany and the players have really taken to her straight away so it’s great to see.”
FT: #IRLWU17🇮🇪 1⃣4⃣-0⃣ Albania
Eabha O’Mahony ⚽️⚽️
Emily Whelan ⚽️⚽️⚽️
Emily Kraft ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️
Jessica Ziu ⚽️⚽️
Katelyn Keogh ⚽️⚽️
Mia Dodd ⚽️
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) October 22, 2018
Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 17 squad
Goalkeepers: Courtney Maguire (Shelbourne Ladies), Maeve Williams (Wexford Youths)
Defenders: Therese Kinneavey (Galway Women’s), Eabha O’Mahony (Cork City WFC), Kayla Brady (Galway Women’s), Shauna Brennan (Galway Women’s), Ellie Ferguson (Shelbourne Ladies), Mia Dodd (Shelbourne Ladies).
Midfielders: Rebecca Cooke (Shelbourne Ladies), Orla Prendergast (UCD Waves), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne Ladies), Aoibhin Clancy (Limerick FC), Erin McLaughlin (Sea Rover FC).
Forwards: Emily Kraft (FFC Frankfurt), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne Ladies), Blessing Kingsley (Wexford Youths), Aoife Horgan (Limerick FC), Sophie Liston (Limerick FC), Katelyn Keogh (Athlone Town FC), Lauren Egbuloniu (Cork City).