Tuesday, February 11, 2020
The Under 15 Girls’ Republic of Ireland Schools select are due to play two International Friendly games later this month as they rev up preparations for Bob Docherty Cup.
Northern Ireland will be first up for Head Coach Richard Berkeley’s charges as they visit Dublin on Saturday, February 29 while England will pop over to the Capital to compete in the John Read Trophy a week later on Saturday, March 7.
These useful excursions will be an opportunity for the 18 players to confirm their place on the flight to Lilleshall as the squad jet off on April 14 to take on Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland in the three-day International tournament.
Berkeley will be optimistic for the elusive three in-a-row as he looks to defend the Bob Docherty Cup and John Read Trophy this season. Since taking over the reigns from Lorraine Counihan, the Tallaght native has secured back to back success in both competitions. He will want to replicate such triumphs in 2020.
To strengthen his odds, he has three exceptional players returning to the setup. Jessie STAPLETON (Palmerstown Community School) will be making her third consecutive appearance at Schools level and has notched up some splendid performances in the series of campaigns thus far. Stapleton is currently in camp with the Irish Women’s Under 17 squad as they take on Iceland in Waterford later this week.
Alongside her will be Ulster star Ellie LONG (Carndonagh Community School) who has been capped for Sue Ronan’s Under 16 squad.
Another Leinster student surpassing all expectations is Liadan CLYNCH (Bush Post Primary School, Dundalk) who also enjoyed an outing with Ronan’s side in England earlier this year.
The trio will be well aware of the Northern Ireland and England threat as they featured heavily in last season’s campaign.
Stapleton even got on the score-sheet against Northern Ireland when they met in 2018.
However, it was a scoreless draw in Armagh City last season when the sides last did battle which was a physical encounter. The pressure will be firmly on the hosts to impress in their first major outing of the season as Stephen Graham’s squad look to upset the odds.
Also on the schedule is the tasty tie with England who are now competing for the coveted John Read Trophy for a seventh time. The Irish were slow to start in this series as England won the first three on the bounce but the Irish responded with the last three titles sown up nicely.
As well as numerous sessions in Abbotstown, Berkeley travelled West for a two day training camp a fortnight ago. A squad of twenty enjoyed a fruitful training session in Salthill Devon FC on the Saturday and played a Galway Under 17s select on the Sunday afternoon in Eamonn Deacy Park in front of an incredible 952 supporters.
The Galway challenge saw them overcome a smart new outfit 3-1 with Abbie Larkin, Ellie Long and Jessie Stapleton all converting in the first half as Galway’s Abbie Callanan responded just before the break.
The Irish team have enjoyed a series of trials and training camps since the conclusion of the Interprovincial Tournament last November. Berkeley and his staff use this tournament as the main recruiting tool for the International trial process.
The tournament was a huge success with an outstanding pedigree of football played over the weekend.
Leinster only required a draw in the tie to see them victorious and Rob Ellison’s side duly delivered.
A goal in each half was enough to see off title contenders Munster in a really entertaining contest.
The victory securing a seventh title in a decade for the province so it was no surprise that the Class of 2020 would see a dominance of Leinster students in the mix as they produced some amazing football in the Interprovincial series.
Dublin’s catchment area of Lucan, Ringsend, Castleknock and Palmerstown are represented with Aoibhe Fleming, Abbie Larkin, Tara O’Hanlon and Jessie Stapleton flying the flag for their educational institutes.
Dundalk students Liadan Clynch and Drogheda’s Summer Lawless should make major strides at this level as well as Kildare schoolgirls Claudia Keenan from Rathagan and Orlaith O’Mahony of Prosperous.
Katie Law of Wexford and Carlow’s Aoife Kelly are joined by Bray scholar Eve O’Brien as they progress from provincial team-mates to an Irish force.
There is an exciting Munster contingency including graduates from Corbally, Cork City, Thurles and Blarney all making the cut. Jodie Griffin, Heidi O’Sullivan, Grace Flanagan and Ellie O’Brien starred heavily for their province and are sure to be leading lights for Richard Berkeley’s side.
Carndonagh’s Ellie Long is the sole survivor in Ulster with a fantastic rep in our various schools competitions as well as her continued underage International experience.
While Connacht will be represented by Coláiste Iognáid and Merlin College, both in Galway as Kate Thompson and Rola Olusola are included. Kate Captained the Irish a fortnight ago in that local outing so it was a proud moment for the Thompson family.
The management staff also have a new look with Cork City player Katie McCarthy joining the coaching team. McCarthy is applying her trade in St. Colman’s of Midlton. She will be joined by Performance Analyst Molly Cassidy who is currently competing a degree in DCU.
While the team prepare for these competitive fixtures, wilth Head Coach and his staff will have one final training session on Saturday, April 4 to access the results and finalize their squad for the Bob Docherty Cup.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND PROVISIONAL SQUAD | Kate THOMPSON (Coláiste Iognáid, Galway),
Rola OLUSOLA (Merlin College, Galway),
Summer LAWLESS (Ballymakenny College, Drogheda),
Liadan CLYNCH (Bush Post Primary School, Dundalk),
Aoibhe FLEMING (Lucan Community College),
Jessie STAPLETON (Palmerstown Community School),
Eve O’BRIEN (Woodbrook College, Bray),
Katie LAW (Presentation Secondary School, Wexford),
Abbie LARKIN (Ringsend College),
Orlaith O’MAHONY (St. Farnan’s Post Primary School, Prosperous),
Tara O’HANLON (Castleknock Community College),
Claudia KEENAN (Ardscoil Rathagan),
Aoife KELLY (Presentation College, Carlow),
Ellie LONG (Carndonagh Community School),
Jodie GRIFFIN (Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally),
Ellie O’BRIEN (Scoil Muire gan Smál, Blarney),
Heidi O’SULLIVAN (Regina Mundi College, Cork),
Grace FLANAGAN (Presentation Secondary School, Thurles),
MANAGEMENT | Head Coach Richard BERKELEY (Sancta Maria College, Louisburgh) Coach Emma MULLIN Coach Katie McCARTHY (St. Colman’s Community College, Midleton) GK Coach Scott GAYNOR (Presentation SS, Wexford), Performance Analyst Molly CASSIDY Kit Person Karen HENRY (Mulroy College, Milford), Physio Aoife BURKE
JOHN READ TROPHY | PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS
|YEAR||RESULT vs England||VENUE||SCORERS|
|March 8, 2014||England 8-0 Republic of Ireland||Maidstone United||Brazil (45, 50), Russo (55), Stanway (60), Hughes (65), George (70, 72), Newsham (86)|
|March 21, 2015||Republic of Ireland 0-1 England||Home Farm FC||Miri Taylor (51)|
|March 6, 2016||England 1-0 Republic of Ireland||Egerton FC, Cheshire||Jody Hutton (35)|
|March 12, 2017||Republic of Ireland 2-1 England||AUL Complex, Dublin||Zara Foley (23), Jess Brown (63), Sophie Liston (70)|
|March 10, 2018||England 0-3 Republic of Ireland||Stafford Town FC||Ellen Molloy (30, 59), Erin McLaughlin (68)|
|April 23, 2019||England 1-1 Republic of Ireland (Ireland won 5-3 on pens)||Cambrils Park, Salou||Aoife Cronin (27), Elizabeth Way (38)|
NORTHERN IRELAND | PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS
|YEAR||RESULT vs Northern Ireland||VENUE||SCORERS|
|February 20, 2016||Republic of Ireland 1-0 Northern Ireland||Oriel Park, Dundalk||Lilly Hengerer (70)|
|March 2, 2017||Republic of Ireland 7-1 Northern Ireland||AUL Complex, Dublin||Anna Fahey (7, 29), Shauna Carroll (25), Erin McLaughlin (28), Jessica Ziu (30), Eabha O’Mahony (63 Pen), Sophie Liston (70)Teegan Lynch (68)|
|March 10, 2018||Republic of Ireland 2-1 Northern Ireland||AUL Complex, Dublin||Jessie Stapleton (8), Kate Slevin (50), Lucy Andrews (16)|
|March 2, 2019||Northern Ireland 0-0 Republic of Ireland||Armagh City|