Ireland have named a 31-player squad for their final game in Group I, at home to Germany on Tuesday, December 1st in Tallaght Stadium.
With seven games already played, Ireland are still in the hunt for a Qualifying Play-Off for the 2022 UEFA Women’s European Championships. After falling to a frustrating defeat to Ukraine last month, Ireland now realistically have to beat Germany to stand any chance of qualifying for their first ever major tournament.
Obviously, this is a mammoth task as Germany are widely regarded as the best team in the world. The Germans beat Ireland 3-0 in their last outing and sit top of Group I with six wins from six, scoring 37 goals and conceding zero.
Head Coach Vera Pauw has called up Cork City’s Saoirse Noonan for the first time to try and help Ireland overcome the mighty Germans. Noonan has been in flying form this season and her athleticism and talent is there for all to see.
Last weekend, the 21-year-old kitted out for Cork ladies footballers and bagged 1-2 as they overcame Kerry by three points. Incredibly, the following day, Noonan donned the green jersey of Cork City and secured her sides place in the final with two brilliantly taken goals against Treaty United. Noonan’s first was majestic as she rose highest in the box to power home a sublime header into the top corner.
Noonan’s inclusion means that all three of this season’s Barretstown / Women’s National League Player of the Month recipients have been recognised as Wexford Youths’ Ellen Molloy and Shelbourne’s Jessica Ziu are also named.
The players will report into camp on Sunday, November 22nd when the squad will be cut back ahead of the first training session at the FAI National Training Centre.
Germany have already been confirmed as Group I winners, which means that the runner-up spot and a Qualifying Play-Off is now between second-placed Ireland (13 points) and third-placed Ukraine (12 points).
On December 1st, Ireland will host Germany while Ukraine play Montenegro. Pauw’s team currently hold a better goal difference so they need to equal or better Ukraine’s result in order to seal second spot.