Vera Pauw announces the Republic of Ireland pre-World Cup Training Camp squad

We are in the early days of June. There are only forty-one days left until the first set of FIFA Women’s World Cup fixtures kick off.

What an exciting start to the tournament as co-hosts New Zealand face traditional powerhouse Norway in Auckland while the Republic of Ireland take on co-host Australia in Sydney.

The preparations for the tournament are long underway but today’s announcement symbolises the countdown to the tournament for the Republic of Ireland team and supporters. Hawkeye Sidekick reacts to the pre-training camp squad.


Courtney Brosnan is the first choice goalkeeper in this squad. The question is who from the three other goalkeepers will join her on the plane to Australia.

I suspect that three keepers will be taken to the tournament and given the lack of gametime afforded to the other reserves, this selection may come down to purely experience.

Grace Moloney and Megan Walsh have had tough seasons with their respective clubs. Moloney was relegated with Reading from the WSL who have immediately gone semi-professional. Walsh endured managerial departures and club upheaval with her teammates to secure WSL survival.

Both played well under the pressurised circumstances thrown in their direction and look favored to go to the World Cup at the expense of Sophie Whitehouse who looks like a more long term prospect for the squad for the next European Championship qualification campaign.

The hope is that management provide goalkeeping minutes to the depth chart in the friendly fixtures lined up against Zambia and France. Brosnan may be starter but our goalkeeping options need to be ready for the unexpected, that means game minutes to build cohesion with their defensive unit. Time will tell.


Aoife Mannion’s injury woes have hit yet again at the most inopportune time. The knee problem sustained with Manchester United means that she is behind in the squad selection reckoning.

Mannion stood out in her USA friendly cameos but Vera Pauw is aware that time is running out for the player to prove her fitness. The pre-training camp was the opportunity to cement that squad berth. It would appear to be dashed after this squad announcement.

No other genuine surprises here. Jessie Stapleton potentially would have been someone I would have selected given her versatility in defensive and midfield positions.

It is great to see Niamh Fahey back into the squad given her injury issues this season with Liverpool. The defensive unit has massive experience so apart from Mannion and Stapleton, there were precious few surprises.


The usual names appeared on the pre-training squad here. McCabe, O’Sullivan will be key figures in this side once the World Cup tournament commences.

No genuine surprises here but for Lucy Quinn, Erin McLaughlin, Ciara Grant and Sinead Farrelly, it is the last opportunity to impress in order to secure a World Cup place so competition will be fierce.


This is an intriguing selection. Who will lead the line for Ireland against Australia in July? The forward line does not lack in work rate but when their goal scoring ratio is a concern collectively.

Leanne Kiernan inclusion is super news. Her resiliency to come back from injury this season has been immense. The question is whether she has sufficient game minutes and sharpness to secure a squad berth. She has the talent and skill to come late and secure a squad berth.

It is a wide open squad selection here. Vera Pauw must go with the players that are on form so competition should be immense in this pre-training camp. Sheva in particular needs a strong training camp given the likes of Payne, Barrett and Carusa look like nailed on certs to go to the World Cup.

Saoirse Noonan is a natural goal scorer but needs to put her best foot forward here as this is the unit that looks most uncertain in terms of depth chart right now. The management will deploy one up top for Canada and perhaps Australia so opportunities to impress for the players in this unit will be precious.

Thirty one players must be cut to twenty-three players by July 9th. The pressure is on management and players to get squad selection on point.

Two friendlies against Zambia and France hopefully provide morale boosting performances before jetting off to Australia for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the July 20th kickoff against co-host Australia. Let the excitement commence!

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